Against a backdrop of 2018’s Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town, a roundtable of UK experts proposed holistic solutions around Sub-Saharan infrastructure projects that can provide wide-reaching, long-term economic opportunities for African communities.
Their idea is impactful: Say you’re interested in building railways to transport minerals from mines to ports. In a standard arrangement, you’d contract a company to build railways, move your minerals cheaply, and enjoy revenue on your exports. Done. Easy.
But what happens, after 10 to 30 years of operation, when your mines finish their production cycles and close? And how do you ensure your efforts will drive local economies and provide ongoing venture?
As Nigel Casey, UK High Commissioner to South Africa, explained in his roundtable remarks: “A mining project is much more than just mining.” The way forward, the roundtable seemed to agree, is a partnership model driven by UK infrastructure expertise, African community collaboration, and multi-sector financing.