DAKAR, Senegal, Oct. 12, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), along with six representatives from the Canadian business community active in Senegal and West Africa, took part in a private round table discussion with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Minister of International Cooperation Julian Fantino, Member of Parliament Shelly Glover and Ambassador to Senegal Perry Calderwood. The round table occurred in conjunction with a scheduled visit to Senegal by Prime Minister Harper and his delegation.
Topics discussed included the business climate in Western Africa, international competiveness, corporate social responsibility and development of Canadian strategic interests in the region.
In the wake of Prime Minister Harper's visit to Dakar, CIM is announcing a number of significant initiatives in support of its collaborative endeavours with West Africa, including:
- The launch of CIM's first African branch in Dakar, with the Centre Africain d'Études Supérieures en Gestion (CESAG) to act as secretariat. CIM branches in Ouagadougou and Conakry are currently under discussion
- The organization by CIM and its newly created Dakar branch of a first gold symposium in Africa to be held in Dakar on November 3, 2012
- The funding by CIM of two research projects with the CESAG and Montreal's Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) aimed at developing an analysis model for local and regional supply chain opportunities related to gold mining in West Africa
In collaboration with partners in Senegal, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Ivory Coast and Mali, CIM hopes to champion the creation of the Institut Minier Ouest Africain (IMOA) to assist West African efforts towards increasing technical and professional training in the private and public sectors, and to support local supply chains.
"These initiatives are the culmination of earlier commitments and activity in West Africa over the last two years," said CIM executive director Jean Vavrek. "CIM is proud to now take concrete action in the region to develop a model in the global Francophone mining community." Mr. Vavrek will be in Dakar at the end of October to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the CESAG and an Agreement on CIM's Dakar branch, and to speak at the CIM Gold Symposium.
CIM's initiatives in Senegal are well-received by the representatives of the ministries involved: "This is an excellent opportunity to share the know-how and technology needed to promote sustainable management of the country's mineral resources," said Ousmane Cisse, director of mines and geology at the Ministry of Mines, Industry, Agro-Industry and SMEs of the Republic of Senegal.
"CIM's developments in Senegal and the region will strengthen the human resources and skills in an area known to play an important role in the economic emergence of these countries in the coming years, and they are in line with the restructuring of value chains in the extractive sector to be launched very soon in Senegal with all involved," said Ibrahima Wade, permanent secretary of the Accelerated Growth Strategy of the government of Senegal.
CIM's efforts are supported by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, under the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT).
"These developments stand as good examples of the close collaboration between the members of the West African and Canadian mining industries," said CIM president Terry Bowles. "They will bring very positive results for both countries."
Founded in 1898, the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) is the leading professional association for the minerals industry with over 14,000 members across Canada and globally. CIM is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and technology as well as the facilitation of networking, fraternity and professional development for the mining industry. With 10 Technical Societies and over 30 Branches, CIM members help shape, lead and connect Canada's mining industry around the globe.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) manages Canada's diplomatic and consular relations, and encourages the country's international trade. This includes: ensuring that Canada's foreign policy reflects true Canadian values and advances Canada's national interests; strengthening rules-based trading arrangements and expanding free and fair market access at bilateral, regional and global levels; and working with a range of partners inside and outside government to achieve increased economic opportunity and enhanced security for Canada and for Canadians at home and abroad.
SOURCE: CANADIAN INSTITUTE OF MINING, METALLURGY AND PETROLEUM (CIM)
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