Stopping illegal mining in the Great Lakes area amidst the pandemic

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What is required to curb the illicit sourcing and trafficking of mineral resources in Africa’s Great Lakes region is an all-inclusive strategy involving all stakeholders.

This is according to Gabor Beszterczey, the United Nations’ senior program officer. Beszterczey was a panelist at a recent Africa Mining Forum webinar entitled Attracting Responsible Mining and Natural Resources Investment in a Pandemic Climate in the Great Lakes Region.

Veronica Cody, Regional Coordinator for the Great Lakes Region, EEAS, EU; Ambassador Ambeyi Ligabo, Director of the Democracy and Good Governance Program, International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR); and Marcus Courage, CEO of Africa Practice, who was also the moderator, joined the panel.

The Great Lakes countries of Africa are well supplied with natural resources and have one of the Earth’s richest concentrations of precious minerals and metals. The mining and trade of minerals, however, is too often carried out illegally and often funded by non-state armed groups, further destabilizing the country. Moreover, these problems have been exacerbated by the onset of COVID-19.

Although many attempts have been made to address this problem, according to Beszterczey, challenges remain at the regional level. What is needed, however, is to focus efforts at a global level on addressing this.

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