PanAfGeo can play an important role in increasing the geological knowledge of African countries, allowing them to better estimate their national mineral reserves, better plan budgets based on expected revenues from these reserves and provide increased bargaining power vis-à-vis mining firms.
Africa is well endowed with mineral resources, producing over 60 different metals and minerals (copper, nickel, bauxite, manganese, cobalt, platinum, gold, diamonds rhodium, and iron) and the potential of the continent is enormous, with much of the territory yet unexplored, but so far it has not reaped the developmental benefits from these resources.
Europe, meanwhile, is increasingly concerned by the surging global demand and volatile markets that threaten access to raw materials – and the 30 million jobs that depend on them.
In this framework Africa and the European Union share an interest in improving skills and knowledge in Africa, in particular in the field of geology, to enhance the sustainable and pro-development exploitation of mineral resources but also for infrastructure, water and energy management as well as natural disaster prevention or mitigation.
The EU, through its development policies (i.e. EU Raw Materials Strategy) and in partnership with developing countries, has identified win-win situations where both developed and developing countries can benefit from the sustainable supply of raw materials, and from the use of domestic financial resources from the mining sector for sustainable development to support the objectives of inclusive growth and poverty reduction strategies.
In this framework cooperation between the European geological surveys (EGS) and its counterpart in Africa, the Organisation of African Geological Surveys (OAGS), has been set up. This cooperation aims to further develop the capacity of the OAGS, improve national education and training systems and support the development of a comprehensive Pan-African Geological Knowledge Base.