The Future of Mining and Natural Resource Management in Africa
From October 3rd to 6th, 2023, CEMEREM held successfully its 4th Biennial International Conference in the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya. The conference’s theme, “The Future of Mining and Natural Resource Management in Africa: Training, Research, and Policy Direction for Sustainable Development” served as a rallying point, drawing scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and students together.
This conference commenced with a comprehensive two-day pre-conference training program with 20 young scientists. Topics included Optimizing Infrastructure Development Costs with Smart Geo-Optimization Techniques, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in Mining, Formal and Informal Institutions of Governance in Mining, Effective Community Participation & Engagement, Extractive Rights in Kenya, ESG Spotlight: Risk Management, Health, and Safety in Mining, and Mobile Data Collection.
The main conference, taking place from October 4th to 6th, attracted a diverse range of participants, including policymakers, academics, development practitioners, and industry professionals. With 105 attendees, including 26% women, it was a truly international gathering. Representatives from Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, and Germany provided diverse experiences and perspectives.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Mining inaugurated the event, expressing the government’s commitment to establishing the National Mining Institute at Taita Taveta University, aligning with CEMEREM’s vision. The Cabinet Secretary commended CEMEREM and Taita Taveta University for their work with artisanal miners to enhance their capacity in value addition and environmental management.
The conference explored six pivotal sub-themes:
- Mining education and training in Africa.
- Emerging mining and natural resource management technologies and innovations.
- Policy transformation and economic instruments.
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Climate change and natural resource conflicts.
- Innovations for artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM).
The conference featured an impressive line-up of keynote speakers representing a diverse array of backgrounds that spanned industry, academia, and esteemed German partners. Notable among these speakers were luminaries like Prof Bongaerts, Prof Ulrike, and Prof Drebenstedt from German partner institutions, Hannah Wang’ombe, the dynamic CEO of the Association for Women in Energy and Extractives in Kenya (AWEIK), Dr Kanyoro, the esteemed Chairperson of the Kenya Chamber of Mines, Prof Antoine Mulaba from the renowned University of Johannesburg, Prof Mwakio Tole hailing from Pwani University, Dr Melckzedeck Knight Osore, a respected Marine Ecologist at the Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), and Zahra Hassanali, a dedicated Performance Improvement and Results Measurement Specialist. Their presentations not only enriched the conference’s discussions but also served as a wellspring of inspiration for all attendees.
The closing ceremony featured H.E. Andrew Mwadime, the Governor of the County Government of Taita Taveta, emphasizing the role of local and regional governments in resource management. He encouraged the university’s continued collaboration with the county government for the betterment of artisanal and small-scale miners.
The conference received 58 paper submissions, encompassing oral presentations and posters. These contributions provided valuable insights across the six sub-themes, offering the latest research findings, innovative ideas, and practical solutions.
CEMEREM’s 4th Biennial International Conference was not just an event but a significant milestone in advancing responsible and sustainable resource management in Africa. It set the stage for a brighter future in Africa’s resource management and mining sector.
The 5th CEMEREM Biennial International Conference will be held in October, 2025. Expect the call for abstracts, exhibitions and side events by August, 2024 and plan to be there.
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