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African Natural Resources Center seeks comments on its strategy for 2015-2020

The newly established African Natural Resources Center (ANRC), African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has launched an online consultation to seek comments from all stakeholders on its draft strategy for 2015-2020.

The recommendations and comments received will help ANRC better assist African countries maximize development outcomes derived from Africa's natural resources by boosting their capacity to achieve inclusive and sustained growth from natural resources.

This online consultation is consolidated by a series of regional and global consultations.

This series of consultations will help the African Natural Resources Center better advise African countries on natural resources management policy formulation and implementation to enable them to extract greater economic and social value from the development of natural resources.

The idea beneath the establishment of the ANRC is to enhance African countries' capacity to improve development outcomes from sustainable use of renewable and non-renewable resources. The Center will achieve this through interventions that increase the effectiveness of public and private sector governance and institutional frameworks. The Center will assist African countries increase economic deliverables from resources exploitation by advocating good governance, building institutional capacity, providing policy advice, offering strategic guidance and delivering technical assistance.

The strategic objective is informed by the call by African countries for support in improving outcomes from the use of natural resources wealth and the expectation of citizens of resource-rich countries for inclusion in decision making and to benefit from the wealth.

Africa has indeed significant renewable and non-renewable natural resource wealth. The region has the largest arable land mass in the world. Africa is home to the second largest as well as the longest rivers in the world, namely the Nile and the Congo. Africa is also host to the world's second largest tropical forest.

In the extractives sectors, it is estimated that the region accounts for about 30% of all global minerals reserves. Its proven oil reserves constitute 8% of the world's reserves and those of natural gas amount to 7%. Minerals account for an average of 70% of total African exports and about 28% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Africa's natural resources provide a unique opportunity to foster human and economic development while facilitating regional integration in infrastructure, agriculture, energy, tourism and forestry.

However, there are significant sustainable development and governance challenges. The region's leaders recognized this and have stated that, “poor management and regulation of the harmful environmental, social and human rights impacts of mining have struck critical and, in some cases, hostile attitudes among mining communities towards the industry and government”.

This draft will be the basis of the African Natural Resources Center's strategy for 2015-2020, identifying critical areas for better support to African countries in natural resources management, both renewable (water, forestry, land and fishery) and non-renewable (oil, gas and minerals).

SOURCE African Development Bank (AfDB)

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