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MMEC 2024: Renewable Energy Strategies Dominate Discussions Among African Ministers

MMEC 2024: Renewable Energy Strategies Dominate Discussions Among African Ministers

In a high-level debate held during the 10th edition of the Mozambique Mining and Energy Conference and Exhibition (MMEC) in Maputo, ministers of mineral resources and energy from Mozambique, Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi and Tanzania met to discuss and share their national strategies focused on energy and mineral resources. During the meeting, each government representative highlighted key initiatives to boost sustainability and innovation in their countries, paving the way for stronger regional cooperation in the context of a world that is increasingly guided by the green economy.

Mozambican Renewable Energy Strategy Aims for Sustainable Transition

The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Carlos J. Zacarias, clearly and convincingly outlined Mozambique’s energy transition strategy, highlighting its main objectives and the fundamental pillars that underpin it.

He emphasised that the strategy aims to strengthen Mozambique’s position as a regional energy hub, taking advantage of the country’s vast energy resources to contribute to the global energy transition. “The energy transition strategy has three strategic objectives, namely development to strengthen Mozambique’s position as a regional energy hub.”

The minister detailed the four pillars of the strategy, starting with the creation of a modern energy system based on renewable sources. “Creating a modern energy system based on renewable energy sources is fundamental,” he said.

Another important point highlighted by the government representative is the need to develop green industrialisation, taking advantage of the country’s potential to produce electricity from hydro, solar and wind sources. “Our medium and long-term objective is to make this green industrialisation happen,” he said.

Botswana focuses on diversification and partnerships to strengthen mining economy

Botswana’s Minister of Minerals and Energy, Lefoko Moagi, emphasised the importance of the mining industry for the country’s economy, especially with regard to diamonds, which are the main economic pillar, attracting the majority of foreign currency and a significant portion of government revenue. “Diamonds have been the main pillar of our economy, attracting around 80 per cent of our foreign currency, almost half of our government revenue.”

The governor emphasised the evolution of the mining industry over the years, moving from open-pit mines to underground mines, indicating the need to look for new opportunities beyond traditional resources. “Even when we look at the mines that exist and have contributed to this revenue, they initially started out as open-cast mines and now most of them are going underground,” he explained.

Lefoko Moagi emphasised the importance of partnerships for economic growth and sustainable development, highlighting the long-term collaboration with De Beers and the efforts to expand these partnerships beyond Botswana’s borders. “We believe that partnerships are the way forward for countries to prosper,” he concluded.

Eswatini seeks investment to exploit mineral potential and expand energy production

Eswatini’s Minister of Natural Resources and Energy, Lonkhokhela Dlamini, emphasised the importance of the laws established to promote economic and social growth through the mining industry in his country. “In relation to mining in the country, various laws have been established to promote economic and social growth.”

Lonkhokhela Dlamini recognised the untapped mineral potential in Eswatini, mentioning the presence of resources such as gold, iron ore and the unique high-quality green chromite. “We have many reserves that remain unexplored,” she said.

On the energy issue, the minister emphasised the country’s dependence on oil imports, which account for only around 20% of domestic energy production. He expressed the urgent need for investment in this sector in order to increase local production. “We are looking for investment in this field, because if we are talking about 20 per cent local production, it means that we are extremely dependent,” he said.

Lonkhokhela Dlamini also addressed the challenges faced by the country in the supply of electricity, despite efforts to expand access to energy for the population. He emphasised the need for investment in energy infrastructure to meet growing demand. “Industrial growth and the supply of electricity to the people in terms of quality remain a challenge for us,” he finalised.

Malawi emphasises regional cooperation and capacity building for sustainable development

Malawi’s Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola, began his speech by thanking people for the debate programme and highlighting the importance of sharing experiences between countries and ministries. He emphasised the need for regional solidarity and collaboration in order to achieve sustainable development goals, quoting a Kiswahili proverb that highlights the interdependence between countries: “One hand cannot wash the other,” he said. He added that “given that we are so interconnected, regional integration and collaboration are very, very important”.

The minister emphasised the importance of investing in building human capacity to strengthen negotiations with developed countries and international financing institutions. He emphasised the need to share information between member countries, highlighting the high-level debate as an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences. “We are here today at this high-level debate, which is a good example of where we can share information, successes and failures.”

He also highlighted the crucial role of civil society and the private sector in negotiations and in advancing government agendas, emphasising the importance of involving them in the decision-making process. He concluded his speech by emphasising the need to move forward together as key sectors for the good of the member states. “We need to move forward together on this journey, the private sector and also civil society, for the good of our member states.”

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Tanzania bets on sustainable and participatory mining to boost economy

Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Minerals, Steven Kiruswa, shared an overview of the mining industry in Tanzania, highlighting the country’s wealth of mineral resources, which range from critical minerals to precious metals and energy minerals. He pointed out that, “Tanzania is one of the most mining investment-oriented countries in Africa and enjoys a favourable investor environment”.

Steven Kiruswa also emphasised the country’s political and social stability, as well as the unification provided by the Kiswahili language, which is now adopted by the African Union and the nations of the Southern African Development Community. The deputy minister emphasised the government’s ambitious strategy to boost investment growth, added value and the practice of sustainable and responsible mining.

He shared data on the mining sector’s contribution to the national economy, highlighting a significant increase since 1918. He mentioned that, “the country is generating around 60 per cent of foreign exchange and plans to further expand its mining investments in the coming years, especially in critical minerals and earth elements.”

The deputy minister stressed the importance of the equitable distribution of mineral wealth among Tanzanian citizens, mentioning licensing policies that promote the participation of local investors at different levels of the industry. He also emphasised corporate social responsibility regulations, which ensure that mining companies contribute to the development of the communities affected by their activities.

The conference, organised by the Ministry of Mining Resources and Energy (MIREME), through the National Hydrocarbons Company (ENH), in partnership with AME Mozambique and AMETrade, is taking place in Maputo under the slogan “Partnerships for Prosperity: Unlocking Mozambique’s Resources to Advance National and Regional Economic Growth”. It lasts two days (2 and 3 May) and brings together government officials, businesspeople and experts in the extractive and oil and gas fields.


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