Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group (AAMEG)
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December E-News 2015

Message from the CEO

Canberra Trip
AAMEG travelled to Canberra on the 24th and 25th of November to talk to Federal politicians, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other institutions. There is a growing appreciation among federal politicians from all sides of politics of the role played by the Australian mining sector in Africa, particularly the small to medium explorers and producers.
AAMEG’s conversations focused on the following five areas:
  • The development of the Australian Resources Development Hub (ARDH),
  • Federal Government African Strategy,
  • Facilitation Payment Defence,
  • DFAT Africa Strategy,
  • Tax.
For a detailed description of our trip and its’ outcomes please see the report in the members section of the AAMEG website.
Melbourne Event
AAMEG held its’ second Melbourne event for 2015 supported by Baker and McKenzie at their offices in Melbourne. Trish O'Reilly, CEO & Liam Foran, Programme Manager, AAMEG provided an update on recent AAMEG activities. John Mollard, Partner & Jo Daniels Partner, Baker & McKenzie presented on the current rail and port infrastructure challenges for mining projects in East Africa.Di Fleming (Deputy Chair, Advisory Group for Australia Africa Relations (AGAAR) presented on "Africa on our minds: overlaying networks in economic development".

DFAT Business Partnerships Platform
Round 1 of DFAT’s Business Partnerships Platform (BPP) is now open for applications. The platform will assist businesses to invest in projects in developing countries with a social and commercial return. DFAT will match mining company funding on projects up to $500k

The Business Partnerships Platform has been established to enable businesses to partner with DFAT on investments that deliver a combined social and financial return on investment. The platform will enable DFAT to increase the number of its private sector partners, leveraging the experience and ability of business to address intractable development challenges. Applications must be lodged by Friday 18th December 2015. For more information click here.

DFAT Australia Awards Scholarships
Australia Awards, a cornerstone of the Australian Government’s development assistance program for Africa is now open for applications. The scholarships provides access to postgraduate education, training and professional development opportunities for suitably qualified Africans from eligible countries. Please send out to your networks in Africa.

AAMEG Events 2016
We are now filling our calendar for 2016, if you wish to present or are interested in sponsoring and hosting an event during next year please get in touch with the AAMEG team.

I would like to thank you all for your active participation and support over the past year and look forward to working with you in 2016. From all of us at AAMEG, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Trish O'Reilly
Chief Executive Officer

For more information on the activities of AAMEG, please visit our website: or contact us on 08 9226 0175.
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Save the Date - Events not to be missed!

8 February - 11 February 2016
African Mining Indaba
25 February 2016
Norton Rose Fulbright/South African Airways: Post-Indaba Panel
AAMEG will co-host a post-Indaba panel discussing the outcomes from the Annual Mining Indaba Conference in Cape Town with a range of industry speakers presenting their thoughts and views on the economic outlook from the conference.

17 March 2016
AAMEG Networking Information Session
We will be hosting our first networking information session for 2016 in March. These sessions provide opportunities to ask questions and learn from others experiences. Guest speakers TBA.

9 September 2016 - 25 October 2016
ANU Course: Law and Governance in sub-Saharan Africa

For more information on these events or to RSVP to AAMIG events please email Rebecca Hamersley.

Inside Africa – a new knowledge resource for business

AAMEG member Norton Rose Fulbright has just launched Inside Africa, a new global microsite for sharing its knowledge and insight with businesses operating across the continent and beyond.

Inside Africa is currently focussed on areas including infrastructure, mining, power and transmission, renewables and oil and gas. Some of the content already available in the site includes:
  • Can the infrastructure challenges be overcome in the African mining sector?  This briefing discusses the  challenges and opportunities for shared use infrastructure in the mining sector in Africa
  • Demand for potash globally is on the rise. What are African jurisdictions doing to capitalise on this? Find out here
  • Will South Africa's newly launched gas-to-power programme meet the country’s growing energy needs? The challenges, risks and opportunities are discussed here
  • Chinese investment in African mining and resource infrastructure continues to grow. This article sets out some of the options for tapping into Chinese finance
You can visit the new site at where you can register for access and updates.

For further information, please contact Jake Howard or Alen Pazin in our Perth office or Simon Currie in our Sydney office.
AAMEG meeting with African Heads of Mission in Canberra on 25 November 2015. The meeting went very well, a good foundation for next year.

Business Partnerships Platform: Open for Applications

Applications are now open for DFAT’s Business Partnerships Platform (BPP). The BPP is a new platform that will support partnerships between DFAT and businesses on investments that deliver a combined social and commercial return. The BPP includes support from DFAT’s Gender Equality Fund, and applications that focus on improving economic and social outcomes for women through business are strongly encouraged.
The BPP provides a mechanism for business to formally partner with DFAT, and was announced as an early initiative to implement the Ministerial Statement on Engaging the Private Sector in Aid and Development.

The BPP will co-invest between $100,000 and $500,000 with organisations who wish to explore, pilot or expand commercial opportunities that also create development impact. Funds provided will be matched at least 1:1 with investment by the business. In addition to co-investment, partners will have access to DFAT’s development and business expertise in Australia and the region.

Initial funding of $7 million will be available through the BPP. This includes $5 million in core partnership funding from the Private Sector Development Program Fund with additional funding of up to $2 million provided by the Gender Equality Fund for initiatives focused specifically on gender equality. All partnerships will be expected to demonstrate gender-sensitive approaches in their business plans.

These partnerships will create scalable ‘shared value’, advancing economic growth and social development in countries where Australia has an aid program. Any business operating in these countries is welcome to apply, not just Australian businesses. Proposed partnerships may also include NGOs or other types of partners in addition to a business.
Applications must be lodged online via the ‘smartygrants’ system and will be accepted until Friday 18th December, 2015. Proposals will be assessed in a two stage process. Initial expressions of interest will be short-listed in early 2016, with short-listed applicants invited to submit a more detailed proposal for further evaluation.

Staff are requested to bring this program to the attention of eligible private sector partners. Further information on the application process and the program is available at:  

Recommended Reading

KordaMentha (2015) The bribery and corruption conundrum
On the surface, the bribery and corruption conundrum appears to be a simple choice between right and wrong, but why are the wrong choices still apparently being made? US companies are very concerned about corruption risk because the regulator wields a ‘big stick’. So what about Australian companies? Do they have the same inherent fear? In this publication, David Lehman of our Brisbane office discusses the anti-corruption landscape in Australia, and how the implementation of key components within an anti-corruption compliance framework can have a positive impact on your organisation. 

ICMM (2015) Good Practice Guide: Indigenous Peoples and Mining
ICMM has published an updated guide to help mining companies build mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous Peoples. The good practice guide outlines the principles for good engagement in order to foster respect for the rights, interests, aspirations, cultures and livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples.

IMF (2015) Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa
The IMF's latest reports shows growth in sub-Saharan Africa has weakened after more than a decade of solid growth, albeit that there is considerable variation across the region, with some countries having been negatively affected by falling prices of their main commodity exports. The oil-exporting countries such as Nigeria and Angola have been hit hard by falling revenues and the resulting fiscal adjustments, while middle-income countries such as Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia are also facing unfavourable conditions.

World Economic Forum (2015) The Africa Competitiveness Report 2015
This report highlights areas that require policy action and investment to ensure Africa’s sustained growth via a through a comprehensive analysis of Africa’s most pressing competitiveness challenges, and discusses the barriers and difficulties that have been preventing Africa’s economies from reaching their full potential.

International Institute for Environment & Development (2015) Strengthening African Civil Society Organizations
In this report it has found that civil society organisations in Africa struggle to get the support they need to play an effective role in natural resource management and conservation.

Press Release: The NEXIM Bank and The World Bank to Collaborate on Developing Nigeria’s Mining Sector

AfDB (2015) Environmental and Social Assessment Procedures
This report has been revised to reflect the updated information, upgraded processes and knowledge embodied in the Integrated Safeguards System. And it also details the specific procedures that the Bank and its borrowers or clients should follow to ensure that its operations meet the requirements of the operational safeguards at each stage of the Bank’s project cycle.

AfDB (2015) Annual Report 2015 for North Africa: Taking the pulse of the region
In its 2015 Annual Report for North Africa the African Development Bank assessed the economies of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia; and noted that the major transition period in the region, which started in the wake of the Arab Spring in 2011, led to democratic elections in almost all the countries of North Africa in 2014 and 2015.

Article of Interest: Conference circuit can unlock doors

Transparency International (2015) People and Corruption: Africa Survey 2015 - Global Corruption Barometer
Transparency International’s survey estimates that nearly 75 million Africans have paid a bribe in the past year. Some of these were to escape punishment by the police or courts, but many were also forced to pay to get access to the basic services that they desperately need; and a majority of Africans perceive corruption to be on the rise and think that their governments are failing in their efforts to fight corruption.  Citizens in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Liberia and Ghana are the most negative about the scale of corruption in their country.

ICMM (2015) Understanding Company-Community Relations Toolkit
ICMM has launched a toolkit to help mining companies understand the factors that influence community support, and measure the level of community support at a particular project or operation. The toolkit provides a structured approach for companies to understand the basis for community support and how to measure perceptions of support.

Deloitte (2015) Tracking the trends 2016
In its “Tracking the trends 2016” report Deloitte has identified  operational excellence and innovation as the single most important issue facing mining in 2016; with China’s slowing growth, stakeholder dialogue, mining finance, tax challenges and M&A’s also important.

International Council of Swedish Industry (2015) Management in Complex Environments
This book - Management in Complex Environments - which is available for free download - combines expert analysis, company case stories, and reflections from more than 100 business leaders experienced in operating in complex environments which require rigorous understanding of the economic, political, social and conflict dynamics of which they become part.
Enquire about membership today!
Copyright © 2015 Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group, All rights reserved.

***Please could you assist AAMEG by forwarding this letter to any colleagues who may be interested in the workshops and events that we offer.

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