This project is an initiative of the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Group of States, coordinated by the ACP Secretariat, financed by the European Union and UNDP and implemented by UNDP and is housed under the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development at the Government Complex. It is a three-year project starting from 2016 to 2018 with a budget of €13.4 million.
The ACP Group of States is the largest intergovernmental association of developing countries with 79 Member States from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Member States work together for the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and the integration of ACP States into the world economy. All Member States apart from Cuba are signatories to the Cotonou Agreement which gives the ACP Group a privileged relationship with the European Community. The project on capacity building of mineral institutions and of small-scale private sector operating in low-value minerals in ACP Countries is one of the programmes funded by the European Union under the ACP-EU Partnership on Development Cooperation.

Project objectives

The overarching objective of the ACP-EU project is to foster the sustainable and inclusive development of the small-scale mineral resources industry in ACP Countries. It also aims to support the implementation of the ACP Framework of Action on the Development of Mineral Resources Sector which was endorsed by the ACP Committee of Ambassadors in 2011.

Project Rationale

In contrast with the large-scale tradable minerals and hydrocarbons sector, the low- value minerals and materials (LVMM) sector has close links with the local economy, has the potential to generate more local jobs, and therefore can have a greater impact on poverty reduction.  The various LVMM sub-sectors such as construction materials and dimension stones primarily focus on the domestic economy, relying on the hubs of growth such as cities and metropolitan areas. The extent of exports is usually limited due to low-value per-mass. However, these sub-sectors provide an important input to domestic construction and generation of jobs.

Despite its income generation potential, the LVMM sector remains underutilized. This is in part due to the uncertain legal and regulatory framework in which the sector operates and the lack of publicly available and easily accessible geological data which aggravates wasteful exploitation and discourages investment in the sector. In addition, small and medium-sized companies operating in the LVMM sector often lack financing, knowledge up-to-date technology to raise the productivity of their operations. Furthermore, artisanal and small-scale mining activities pose serious environmental, social and health risks to the workers and surrounding communities.

The scope of this project will, therefore, be the LVMM sector in ACP countries which includes the mining of construction minerals, dimension stones, industrial minerals and low-grade metals and precious stones.

Project expected outcomes

The project will be implemented over a period of 3 years at both regional and country level. The main focus will be on the building of capacity of key stakeholders in the sector including public stakeholders such as regulatory agencies and local governments; private stakeholders such as small-scale mining enterprises, associations and business development centres; and social stakeholders such as civil society organization and community groups. Some of the training and support that will be provided through this project will include the following thematic areas:
• Mine and quarry management;
• Environment, health and safety;
• Entrepreneurship skills;
• Market analysis and investment promotion;
• Geo-data and maps design; and
• Community relations and addressing grievances
Current status
The Project is still awaiting the finalization of the project document for signing and approval.