Joint delegations from the UN Office for the Great Lakes and ICGLR undertake a joint mission to Sudan to lay the groundwork for a workshop on natural resources
Khartoum (Sudan), 3 July 2021 - A joint team of made of representatives from the Office of the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) travelled to Khartoum, Sudan, from 29 June to 3 July 2021 to discuss preparations for a regional workshop on natural resources, scheduled to take place in Khartoum on 30 August to 2 September 2021.
While in Khartoum, the delegation met with senior government officials from the ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ministry of Minerals (Geological Research Authority), as well as Finance and Defense ministerial staff. All were extensively briefed on the objectives of the upcoming workshop and the ongoing efforts from the UN, and regional partners to rally support of all stakeholders in addressing the core causes of instability in the Great Lakes region, including the illegal exploitation, and smuggling of natural resources. Issues such as border control and security, certification, harmonisation of legal frameworks and related policies were singled out as key to ensuring that minerals are conflict free.
Sudan is about to come up with a new policy in support of its Mining Act to address challenges linked to traditional mining involving a section of the population estimated to be over 1 million Sudanese.
According to the Sudanese officials, the lifting of US sanctions on the country offers new prospects to further engage private sector actors to explore ways and means to attract direct investment, engage development partners to maximise their interventions, promote capacity building and strengthen the regulatory framework. Sudan is keen to integrate the international monetary system and revive its economy, particularly in the current context of the COVID 19 pandemic.
While in Khartoum, the joint delegation held sideline meetings to seek support and collaboration for the upcoming workshop. In this regard, they met with Dr. Sidi Ould Tah, Director General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and Mrs. Khardiata LO N’Diaye, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).
In this mission, the delegation from the Office of the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes was led by its Sr. Economic Affairs Advisor Serigne Bassirou, and Sr. Gender Advisor Nene Bah, while the ICGLR was represented by its Coordinator of the Technical Unit on Natural Resources Gerard Nayuburundi.