ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme
Launched in July 2015, the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme implemented by UNDP is a three-year, €13.1 million capacity building initiative that aims to build the profile, and improve the management of development minerals (industrial minerals, construction materials, dimension stones, and semi-precious stones). The programme is an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, financed by the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and implemented by UNDP. It aims to help the sector contribute to the fulfilment of the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, as well as toward the ACP Framework of Action on the Development of Mineral Resources Sector, endorsed by the ACP Committee of Ambassadors in 2011.
The programme supports the public, private, business development and social stakeholders that operate in the development minerals sector in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Development minerals are minerals and materials that are mined, processed, manufactured and used domestically in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and agriculture and have a high degree of economic linkage and utilization close to the location where the commodity is mined.
The ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme promotes knowledge exchange to increase the sector’s productivity, help better manage mining operations to adhere to national and international environmental and health standards, and prevent conflict through effective community relations.
The programme is already bearing fruit. In the first eighteen months of programme implementation, more than 1.165 people from 44 ACP countries have participated in 29 training and knowledge sharing workshops. Furthermore, 22 ACP countries have directly engaged 256 small scale private mining operators, with further engagement and support provided to 17 women mining associations. Besides, plans are at an advanced state to have more rural roads built with domestically produced cobblestone and provide a proof of concept of how ‘development minerals’– a phrase coined to reflect their potential role in creating local jobs and spurring domestic growth – can meet the demand for construction materials and contribute to local development.