High-level Expert Group Meeting on the Role of the Extractive Industries in Africa towards Sustainable Development and Inclusive Growth

  • Discussions on fostering economic growth through the development of Africa's extractive resources were well received by featured panellists.

  • Ms. Fatima Denton, Director of the Special Initiative Division, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), delivers opening remarks during the Expert Group Meeting.

  • Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), stressed the importance of building coalitions in order to target change.

  • Dr. Elias Ayuk, Director, United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), raised several key points about the linkages between technology transfer and Africa’s industrialization.

  • Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa Maged Abdelaziz responds enthusiastically during the interactive discussions.

  • Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa Maged Abdelaziz applauds the participation of international partners in the High-level Expert Group Meeting.

About the Meeting

The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) held the High-level Expert Group Meeting on 24 February 2015, in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the Department of Public Information (DPI).


For many African countries, revenues from natural resources, including extractive industries, is a key source for development financing. Africa has abundant natural resource endowment which provides a comparative advantage.  It has approximately:

  • 12 percent of the world’s oil reserves,
  • 40 percent of its gold and
  • about 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land.

The increasing demand for primary commodities, particularly in rapidly growing emerging economies and the resulting increase in primary commodity prices has helped African countries increase their trade with the world in nominal terms from $ 251 billion in 1996 to $1.151 trillion in 2011.

However, the strong African export performance, composed mostly of primary commodity exports, has not allowed African countries to harness the full potential of their rich natural resource endowments and to employ the competitive advantage offered as an engine for inclusive economic growth. In fact, Africa’s share of world trade remains small and vulnerable to fluctuations in primary commodity prices. In 2013, Africa’s share of global exports stood at 3.3 percent marking a slow increase compared to its share in 2000 estimated at 2.3 per cent. Moreover, a key feature of Africa’s trade, which has had some adverse implications for its impact on economic growth and development, is its relatively low level of intra‐regional trade. Intra‐African trade stands at around 11 percent compared to 60 percent, 40 percent, 30 percent intra‐regional trade that has been achieved by Europe, North America and ASEAN, respectively.

You can find more information in the concept note PDF.


Session One: Opening Session

  • Sir Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

Session Two: African Social and Economic Transformation through Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development

Session Three: Implementing the African Mining Vision in the context of Africa’s development aspirations - between challenges and opportunities

The complete programme PDF is available on this site.