Panel Members meet, focus on Africa’s extractives

The Africa Progress Panel will maintain its focus on Africa’s extractive industries well into 2014, building on the impact of its work this year and extraordinary political momentum at the global level, Caroline Kende-Robb, Executive Director of the Panel’s Secretariat, said.

Ms Kende-Robb was talking after Panel Members met in Geneva to discuss their activities next year and their impact since the launch in May of this year’s Africa Progress Report, Equity in Extractives – Stewarding Africa’s natural resources for all.

“It is incredibly rare to have political alignment at such a high level – African governments want change, industry wants change, the international community wants change too,” Ms Kende-Robb said.

“They may have different motives and reasons, but this is all heading in one direction,” she added.

The Panel had been delighted with the British G8 Presidency and encouraged by Russia’s G20 leadership this year, because both meetings saw serious movement on tax and transparency issues, key to progress in Africa’s extractives industry, she said.

“The Panel are excited about engaging with next year’s Russian G8 and Australian G20 Summits too,” she said.

Greeting each other warmly, Panel Members said they had been excited to see the impact of this year’s annual report.

“The report was a bombshell,” said Bob Geldof, musician, businessman, and Member of the Africa Progress Panel.

Since its launch in May, Equity in Extractives has been cited by UK Prime Minister David Cameron at the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland, distributed by Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to her cabinet, even discussed in the Vatican, and cited by the global media too.

“It is important they know this is not just about extractives, it is also about ultimately having the financial resources that must be enjoyed by the entire populace,” said Linah Mohohlo, Governor of Botswana’s Central Bank and Member of the Africa Progress Panel, who praised her fellow Panel Members.

“I could not be with a better group of people,” she said.

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