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Rwanda To Host Virtual Mining Forum In November

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With Covid-19 having pounded almost every sector across the globe, the Mining sector was not spared and thus there is an urgent need to readjust and operate under the new normal subject to effects of the unforgiving pandemic.

The global mining industry is facing a significant change in the way their business model operates. After questioning the resiliency of the mining sector for the last 8 months, the need to operate under a “new normal” will be vital as the pandemic brought extraordinary constraints and challenges.

According to the industry captains, the current pandemic has with no doubt, exposed some weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the supply value chain and will force miners to anticipate and mitigate price volatility and downturns in the future to encourage investors decision-making.

It is under this concern that the Africa Mining Forum has organized an event that will bring together experts and key players of this industry to engage in deliberations that aim at adjusting to fit within the new normal – this digital event will take place from the 16th to the 20th of November 2020.

Francis Gatare the Chief Executive of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum & Gas Board is lined up to present an Opening keynote address to this forum and will be joined by Emma Wade-Smith Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa at the United Kingdom Department for International Trade.

Others include Hubert Danso the Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Africa Investor (Ai) Group and Sheila Khama and Jörgen Sandström. This panel will discuss the “recovery plan to stimulate investment into mining exploration in Africa.”

According to organizers, the digital event will deliver 5 days of interactive and content-led activities, from 12 strategic Spotlight sessions, international CEOs , One-on-One, Women in Mining, and Ministerial Forum.

South-Africa

Zimbabwe Bids Farewell To Hunger After Bumper Harvest

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Zimbabwe has reported a bumper harvest of maize and other grains capable of feeding for the next one year the country’s 14.65 million people.

According to Zimbabwe’s  Second Crop and Livestock Assessment report, traditional grains production for the ending season is estimated at 347 968 tonnes compared to 152 515 tonnes harvested in 2019/2020. The increase in production has been attributed to the amount of rainfall and its distribution.

The report has revealed that most districts in Zimbabwe are harvesting enough maize and traditional grains to last more than 12 months with only a few areas having enough to cater for six months and below.

“In addition to the good rainfall season in the 2020/2021 season, the practice of climate proofed technologies significantly contributed to the increased yield levels supported by well-coordinated input programmes.

The report says, “There was marked improvement in maize yield across the country as a result of increased amount of rainfall and good distribution from the onset of the season in November 2020 to the end of February 2021.”

Under the President Mnangagwa government, new innovations have been implemented to revamp agriculture production. Some of the innovations include; the practice of climate proofed technologies (Pfumvudza/ Intwasa).

Pfumvudza is a crop production intensification approach under which farmers ensure the efficient use of resources (inputs and labour) on a small area of land. This farming concept aims at ensuring food, nutrition and livelihood security at household level.

Pfumvudza involves the utilisation of small pieces of land and applying the correct agronomic practices for higher returns. The approach can be used in marginal areas and still give high yields.

A total of 202 037 hectares were put under Pfumvudza maize and 1 066 755 tonnes are expected from that while 50 016 tonnes of sorghum are expected from the 10 634 hectares put under Pfumvudza.

Meanwhile, last week President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed to propel Zimbabwe to reclaim Africa’s Breadbasket crown through implementing a series of adjustments in the country’s Agriculture systems.

He was speaking at a high-level dialogue on feeding Africa , under the theme “Leadership to scale up successful innovations”.

“In Zimbabwe between 2020 and 2021, crop yield is expected to increase by 199% for maize harvest, 128% for the harvest of traditional grains (and) 94% for cotton harvest,” President Mnangagwa said last week.

President Mnangagwa targets to shift Zimbabwe into a “Prosperous and Empowered Upper Middle Income Status by 2030.”

According to President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy launched last year premised on achieving a US$8,2 billion agriculture economy by 2025, is anchored on climate-smart technologies, extension services and increased innovations.

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Business

Mining Delivers US$385M To Ivorian, Ghanaian Economy In 2020

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Perseus Mining Limited (TSX & ASX: PRU) (www.PerseusMining.com) has released its CY20 Sustainable Development Report. The report details the company’s progress over the past 12 months in delivering on its commitment to responsible mining operations in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, including an overall economic benefit to host countries totalling about USD$385M.

As part of its longstanding commitment to the communities in which it operates, Perseus reported increasing community investment by 71% to around US$1.9M in CY20, funding critical health and education infrastructure projects for local communities. Additionally, Perseus announced it had increased its proportion of local procurement from 66% in CY19 to 78% in CY20, totalling US$287M, and further expanded its employment of local populations, with 96% of its current workforce local to Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

Jeff Quartermaine, Managing Director & CEO of Perseus said:

“Sustainability is deeply rooted in Perseus’s culture and operations and has had a large part to play in our resilience during this challenging year. We believe that responsible gold mining can play a key role in sustainable development, and that investing in our employees and our communities to create enduring social value will remain a guiding force in our growth path and future business operations. I am proud of my team’s effective response to the pandemic which successfully safeguarded our operations as well as our people, enabling us to deliver our Yaouré mine in Côte d’Ivoire this year ahead of schedule. Our approach to sustainability has continued to mature as our business has grown, and in the coming years we look forward to expanding our ESG offering and delivering greater impact across Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.”

Jessica Volich, Group Sustainability Manager at Perseus said:

“Despite the challenges the past year has brought, Perseus’s sustainability agenda has continued to strengthen and evolve alongside its expanding operations. Our wide-ranging efforts and engagement with our local communities and host governments has enabled us to create shared sustainable value for all our stakeholders. We are committed to strengthening these relationships in the coming years as we endeavour to generate socio-economic value for our people, communities and host countries.”

In CY20, Perseus has enhanced its disclosure on sustainability-related risks and opportunities by aligning with the key reporting frameworks used by our stakeholders. These include the World Gold Council Responsible Gold Mining Principles, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Highlights of the report include:

Economic and Social Contribution

  • Total economic contribution of US$385M in CY20 to Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire
  • Increased community investment by 71% (from CY19) to around US$1.9M in CY20, funding critical health and education infrastructure projects for local communities and providing COVID-19 support
  • Creation of new health clinics near Sissingué to improve health outcomes for the ~27,000 residents of the local communities
  • Increased in-country employment, with over 96% of total employees from host countries
  • Local procurement spend of $287M, an increase from 66% in CY19 to 78% in CY20
  • Held 587 consultations with local communities
  • Paid >US$69M in taxes, royalties, and duties to Government

Health & Safety performance:

  • Maintained record of zero workplace fatalities and reduced injuries
  • Implementation of comprehensive measures and protocols to prevent introduction and spread of COVID-19 and maintain business continuity

Environmental stewardship:

  • Re-use of 12,495,163 KL of water
  • Water intensity of 7.46M3/oz gold produced, benchmarked ahead of peers
  • Enhanced tailings disclosures in line with the Investor Mining and Tailings Safety Initiative, and completed independent audits of all our Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs)

Governance

  • Worked with independent sustainability risk experts, KPMG, to refresh sustainability materiality analysis and conduct deeper analysis of sustainability risks and opportunities, and start development of a 3-year sustainability roadmap
  • Announced appointment of a new Director by the end of FY21 to enhance sustainability skills of the Board
  • Release of the first Modern Slavery Statement to address potential human rights risks in Perseus’ global supply chain

Future ambitions

  • Establish a 3-year sustainability roadmap, and enhance social value and sustainability risk management through updates to the Risk Management Framework and policy standards
  • Establish the Yaouré Community Development Fund in FY21
  • During FY21 and FY22, Perseus will complete and commence implementation of our biodiversity plan at Yaouré in Côte d’Ivoire mine site in and establish our site nursery, to be staffed by local community members
  • Explore strategic opportunities for community partnerships in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana
  • Achieve full alignment with the World Gold Council Responsible Gold Mining Principles by FY23
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Business

How A Career In Public Relations Helped Shape An African Royal

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To some, it might seem like an unusual career trajectory, but for Ewetse Khama, working in the Public Relations industry in Africa has been the perfect preparation for the next step in his unique journey.

From today, Ewetse is stepping down from his role at APO Group, the leading pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service, to serve his country and his people.

This year, Ewetse’s father, Sekgoma Tshekedi Khama, retired from active duty in the Bamangwato tribe. This made way for the eldest son, Ewetse to assume his father’s role as a Kgosi – a Batswana term meaning ‘Chief’, ‘King’ or ‘Elder’ – in the Khama Family, one of Botswana’s most prominent royal families.

The Khamas have a long and illustrious history in Botswana. Ewetse’s paternal uncle, Sir Seretse Khama, served as the country’s first President after independence in 1966, and was the subject of a Hollywood blockbuster – A United Kingdom – about his marriage to English woman Ruth Williams. Sir Seretse’s eldest son, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama was Botswana’s 4th President from 2008-2018.

Botswana is one of the most peaceful countries in Africa, which Ewetse attributes partly to the role that traditional leaders play as a conduit between government and the people, especially in promoting harmony and understanding. 

That might be one of the reasons the PR industry has been such a good fit for Ewetse, helping prepare him for the big challenges that lie ahead.

“I felt that I needed to do things for myself and forge my own career, instead of relying on my name or status,” Ewetse says. “As a Khama, I had so much choice in life because many doors were always open to us, I could do or be anything I wanted. But I have always felt strongly about communications and working with people, so PR seemed like the perfect choice.”

Working within the PR Agency division of APO Group has given Ewetse a grounding, and a sense of normality. It has also broadened his horizons internationally, and given him new perspectives on Africa after being educated in Europe. Ewetse believes his PR career – and his time at APO Group – will help make him a better leader.

“I’m a good listener, which is essential in PR. You listen to what somebody has to say, then you help them develop their ideas, and connect with their audiences. The key appeal to me is that Public Relations is really about creating opportunities for people.” 

Ewetse’s work with APO Group has certainly helped him do that. He has offered a guiding hand to many multinational organizations looking to navigate the diverse African media landscape. His experience and local knowledge has enabled those companies to succeed in markets that are often difficult to crack. Like all his APO Group colleagues, Ewetse is passionate about Africa, and provided customers with ‘on-the-ground’ networking and support.     

As APO Group Founder and Chairman, Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard explains: “Not everyone in our team is from African royalty! But they are all deeply attuned to the people, country and region in which they live and operate. Ewetse’s extraordinary story epitomises our commitment to local expertise, and is also a testament to APO’s talent pool across Africa.”

APO Group holds a unique position in the Public Relations industry in Africa. Formerly known as the African Press Organization, it has been providing content to media in all 54 African countries since 2007. Journalists in Africa know and trust APO Group, making them the perfect partner for companies looking to develop their presence on the continent.

Ewetse is now looking to bring the communications skills he honed in the PR industry into his new role as a Kgosi – a Batswana term meaning ‘Chief’, ‘King’ or ‘Elder’ – where his responsibilities include fostering local consensus and governance while also promoting social welfare and the economic empowerment of disadvantaged groups.

“My time at APO Group has been an important part of my career, and I am proud of the work we have done to help our multinational clients and drive business into African economies. I have great memories of the people and the experiences I’ve enjoyed along the way. They will stand me in good stead as I take this next exciting step!” 

Even though Ewetse has now moved on to serve his community and country, he will be remembered fondly by his former colleagues.

“Ewetse will always be a valued part of the APO Group team – a colleague and a friend,” Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard says. “We will miss him, of course, but APO Group’s loss is Botswana’s gain. His nation is lucky to have him. I am grateful for the fact that, thanks to our fantastic team, our clients across Africa will continue to receive a royal standard of quality service!

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