Investing deeper in Africa

THE Australia-Africa Mining Industry Group has signed on with the Western Australian government to develop food security and safety in Africa.

Justin Niessner

The initiative with the WA Department of Agriculture and Food outlines the intent for both organisations to work towards benefiting the Australian mining industry in Africa.

AAMIG said the concept was to achieve better results through a more cooperative “team Australia” approach to investing in Africa.

“This relationship will directly benefit Australian mining and exploration companies working in Africa, seeking to achieve positive and functional community engagement and development through agriculture,” newly appointed AAMIG chief executive officer Trish O’Reilly said.

“AAMIG members will now have direct access to DAFWA’s international consultancy arm and can leverage specialist knowledge and technical services in finding solutions for issues such as biosecurity, quarantine and supply chain systems, crop diversification and productive capacity.”

AGWEST Food Security, an international consultancy arm of DAFWA, is expected to apply a diverse range of services to promote progress in agribusiness, biosecurity, food safety systems, sustainable agriculture development, natural resource management and community development.

DAFWA director general Rob Delane said there were synergies between the agriculture and mining sectors, which could be harnessed for mutual benefit.

“Food security and safety has long been a challenge for developing nations, affecting health, education and the economy,” he said.

“AGWEST Food Security can provide the mining sector with access to specialists – onsite if necessary – to work with clients to provide solutions to issues, such as improving biosecurity, quarantine and supply chain systems, building community resilience to drought and natural disasters and enhancing crop diversification and productive capacity.”

The news coincided with the appointment of O’Reilly as CEO of AAMIG.

The group cited O’Reilly’s more than 30 years experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors working with a range of communities and population groups in South Africa, England and Australia.

“Trish has a strong sense of social justice with a clear understanding of the imperative for embedding meaningful contribution within the local community as part of internationally accepted good business practices,” AAMIG chairman Bill Turner said.