Panel: Mining to Manufacturing: Africa in the Driver’s Seat - U.S.-Africa Business Summit 2022

Panel: Mining to Manufacturing: Africa in the Driver’s Seat
July 21, 2022



On Thursday, July 21, 2022, Corporate Council on Africa hosted the From Mining to Manufacturing: Africa in the Driver’s Seat. As the demand for wind and solar energy and for electric vehicles has skyrocketed, supplies have been constrained by a concentration of processing facilities in China. COVID-19 related disruptions to global shipping and extended delays have underscored the importance of both more critical minerals supply coming to world markets and the need for more processing facilities. African countries are interested in leveraging their mineral resources to support postCOVID economic recovery, as well as to lay the groundwork for joining emerging global renewable energy supply chains, including increasing processing and consumption in Africa. Several countries in Africa have introduced important changes to their mining charters and other regulations designed to attract much needed private sector investment. This session will hear from government and industry leaders what the shape of the African mining sector will look like in the coming years, and how companies and countries can collaborate to make Africa a meaningful part of the emerging net zero economy global energy supply chain. It featured a diverse panel of speakers which included President of The Pula Group Mary “Mimi” Stith as moderator, Hon. Timothy Musa Kabba, Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Sierra Leone, Jean-Raymond Boulle, Founder and Chairman of Jean Boulle Group, Lynette Elizabeth Armstrong, CEO of Debswana and Craig Dean, Chairman and CEO of The Gerald Group

The program featured moderator Mary Stith who introduced the speakers and generated questions to the panel to focus the dialogue. Ms, Stith used a metaphor of driving to ask the panelist, what the destination and direction we need to follow towards a net zero economy global energy supply chain. The questions were answered by the four-panelist starting with Hon. Timothy Musa Kabba, Minister of Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, Sierra Leone. He began by giving the audiences his background and experience as a petroleum engineer in the mining sector. He mentioned that production has slowed down due to recent unfortunate events but see the industry starting again with a more sustainable approach. He noted that the country has had a working relationship with The Gerald Group. The second speaker, Craig Dean, Chairman and CEO of Gerald Group as well as CEO of Marampa Mines which operates in Sierra Leone. He mentioned that Gerald Group in Sierra Leone is the company biggest project. He mentioned challenges with logistics, infrastructure and power in which Gerald Group plans to work with the Government of Sierra Leone to resolve. The third speaker, Founder and Ceo of Boulle Group began by explaining his years and experience in the mining sector and the work that his company has been doing on the continent to create jobs and opportunity in Sierra Leone and Madagascar.

The final opening remarks were given by CEO of Debswana, Lynette Elizabeth Armstrong. Debswana is a mining company that produces diamonds. The largest diamond producer globally by volume, and the second largest producer globally by volume. She mentioned how Botswana is viewed as a success story by how the mining sector was able to create jobs and get the economy going. She mentioned that COVID has taken a toll on the industry putting a strain on the supply chain. What the audience can take away from this panel is that there has been some setbacks to achieving sustainable mining the industry has managed to make plans and move towards more sustainable practices.