About the programme
From toothpaste to paints, and buildings to plates, the mining of industrial minerals, construction materials, dimension stones and semi-precious stones are intrinsic to everyday life. But despite their potential to impact the livelihoods of millions of people, both positively and negatively, these minerals have been neglected in development debates. The ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme will support knowledge exchange across Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific to improve the profile, and the management, of Development Minerals.
The Programme is an initiative of African, Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Group of States, coordinated by the ACP Secretariat, financed by the European Commission and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented by UNDP. This 3-year, €13.1 million capacity building program aims to:
- Enhance employment and incomes, including employment and incomes of women
- Improve the policy and regulatory environment
- Minimize environmental impacts on communities
- Address individual and community rights and prevent conflict
- Ensure decent working conditions
- Facilitate South-South cooperation and cross-country learning
What are Development Minerals?
"Development Minerals" are minerals and materials that are mined, processed, manufactured and used domestically in industries such as construction, manufacturing, infrastructure and agriculture. Development Minerals have a high degree of economic linkage and utilization close to the location where the commodity is mined and include industrial minerals, like gypsum and salt, construction materials, like sand and gravel, dimension stones, like marble and granite, and semi-precious stones, like garnet and tourmaline.
Development Minerals are sometimes referred to as Low Value Minerals and Materials due to their low price as a function of their weight, and their relatively low value to international commodity markets. The value of Development Minerals however is in their domestic use, rather than the price that they command. Despite the connotation as 'low value' Development Minerals provide crucial inputs for domestic economic development and have the potential to be high value in terms of broad-based national development.
In comparison to the metals sector, Development Minerals have closer links with the local economy, and have the potential to generate more local jobs, with a greater impact on poverty reduction. This is partly because the sector is dominated by small and medium scale domestic businesses.
The Programme is implemented at both the regional and country levels and includes: training; small grants; the production of maps and databases; review of legislation and policy; organization of community dialogues, technology fairs and networking events.
By nurturing home-grown jobs, especially those of youth and women, boosting local manufacturing and enterprise development and improving the oversight of environment, health and safety, labour and community issues, the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme can further support ACP countries to reclaim the minerals and materials essential for domestic economic development.