A select group of public servants from Madagascar, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe gathered in Harare in April to attend a training course devoted to improving the sustainability of revenue flows from the mining industry. The public servants brought specialist policy expertise in Finance, Taxation, Energy and Mining to the course, provided by the University of Sydney’s Graduate School of Government and the Faculty of Law.
Australia’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Matthew Neuhaus, officially opened the introductory session of the Mining Resources: Sustainable Management of Revenue Flows course in Harare on 11 April 2013. The introductory workshop, held from 11 to 17 April, is the in-Africa component of a Mining Resources course delivered by the University of Sydney.
The Short Course is supported by Australia under the Australia Awards program. Its objective is to develop the capacity and leadership skills of partners in Africa so that they can contribute more effectively to development in their home countries. The Pan-African program of development scholarships and fellowships offered 1,000 scholarships to eligible African professionals in 2012.
Recipients of Australia Awards taking part in this course were from Madagascar, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Taking advantage of the introductory course being held in Zimbabwe, additional participants were invited from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), the Ministry of Finance, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Australia has been working with the Government of Zimbabwe to improve revenue capture, providing the resources to improve services and development for all Zimbabweans. Australia gives aid for mining in recognition of the fact that the sector has considerable potential to help reduce poverty, accelerate human development and economic growth, and support progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.
Ambassador Neuhaus commended the steps being taken by African countries in promoting transparency and accountability in the mining sector, urging participants to take advantage of Australia’s expertise and experience in managing the sector and the wealth it creates.
“I am happy to note that a number of African countries, and indeed some represented here, have started to take steps towards the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) standards. This has the potential benefit of ensuring that natural resources benefit all citizens and not just a few people. Australia is honoured to be hosting the EITI Global Conference in May this year.”
The workshop was held at the ZIMRA Training Centre, which was refurbished with Australian Government support in 2011. This was part of the capacity-building support by Australia to ZIMRA, which has seen staff receiving technical training and scholarships since 2010, and the strengthening of partnerships with the South African Revenue Service, African Tax Institute and World Customs Organisation.
The applied and formal components of the course will be delivered in Australia between May and June 2013.