The Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in partnership with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hosted a two-day national consultation workshop to facilitate the development of a roadmap for drafting of a workplan for the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme. The workshop held from 30-31 August at the Kampala Serena Hotel, brought together 65 key stakeholders from the public sector, private sector and civil society at both national and local government level.
Often referred to as Low Value Minerals and Materials (LVMM), due to their low prices, as a function of their weight and their relatively low value to international commodity markets, these natural resources provide crucial inputs for domestic economic development (infrastructure, manufacturing and construction).
However, the development of the neglected minerals sector is constrained by a number of environmental, social and economic challenges. The legal and regulatory environment in which these minerals are exploited is often uncertain. Geological data on these minerals is also not publicly available, which exacerbates wasteful exploration and discourages investment in the sector.
The Government of Uganda is undertaking several policy, legal and regulatory interventions aimed addressing these challenges and thus unlock the potential of the sector. A number of initiatives are also being undertaken by other actors in support of national efforts to develop the neglected development minerals sub-sector. One such initiative is the ACP – EU Development Minerals Programme: It is an initiative of African, Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Group of States, coordinated by the ACP Secretariat, financed by the European Commission and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented by UNDP.
It is a three-year, €13.1 million capacity building programme that aims to build the profile, and improve the management, of Neglected Development Minerals (industrial minerals; construction materials; dimension stones; and semi-precious stones) towards fostering sustainable and inclusive development of the mineral resources sector in ACP countries.
EU Head of Cooperation Michelle Labeeu delivered a key note address at the workshop, noting that too little value has been placed on development minerals yet many households in Uganda depend on them, which explains why the EU is supporting ACP countries to develop national capacity to better manage these resources and process them locally to help reduce poverty, create employment and increase investments in infrastructure development.
See here full speech here .