For almost a decade and as part of its on-going thought leadership initiatives, Webber Wentzel, has hosted a breakfast seminar at the start of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada's International Conference (PDAC) in Toronto, Canada. PDAC is the largest mining focused conference in the world, attracting over 25 000 delegates from over 120 countries annually.
The Webber Wentzel seminar is an official affiliated PDAC event and takes the form of a panel discussion aimed at creating a forum for open dialogue between African governments and Africa focused investors, thus promoting investment in Africa's mineral rich jurisdictions. The panel discussion once again provided an insightful look at the perspectives of African governments, on the one hand and investors in the mining sector, on the other.
This year, the panel was chaired by Webber Wentzel's Manus Booysen, and consisted of an eclectic mix of senior representatives from African governments, the African Union, Chambers of Mines and the investor community including:
- H.E. Ato Motuma Mekassa, Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;
- H.E. Prof. Hashim Ali Mohamed Salim, Minister of Minerals, Republic of Sudan;
- Mr Daniel Major, Chief Executive Officer, GoviEx Uranium;
- Mr Paul Msoma, Economic Affairs Officer - Mineral Governance, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa's Africa Minerals Development Centre; and
- Mr Veston Malango, Chief Executive Officer, Chamber of Mines of Namibia, and Technical Advisor, Association of Chambers of Mines and other Mining Associations of Africa.
The resurgence of interest in mining on the continent may be gleaned from the fact that over 150 delegates braved an icy Toronto morning to attend the panel discussion. Delegations and representatives from 16 African nations including the Kenyan Mining Minister and the South African Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources were present and actively participated in the debate.