Posted by: africanpressorganization | 4 June 2009

Gabon International Mining Expo & Conference 2009





Gabon summit will put country on world map / Minerals abound, wealth beckons


LIBREVILLE, Gabon, June 4, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The central African country of Gabon is about to reveal its hidden wealth to the world at a major Summit in November, destined to unleash the country’s massive mineral resources for the first time.

The Gabon government has called in South African events experts, Ikapa Media, to arrange the Summit, in a bid to assemble a global audience of mining and other experts to discuss how best to exploit the country’s untapped mining wealth.

The Gabon International Mining Expo & Conference 2009, will expose Gabon’s massive mining potential to international mining houses and investors on a scale never achieved before.

The Summit comes at a time when Gabon’s economy has become one of the fastest growing in the world, with GDP consistently set at 8-9%. This has made it one of the most sought-after investment destinations for an ever growing stream of international corporations.

World Bank figures show that on the African continent Gabon’s GNP per capita is second only to Libya, and even ahead of South Africa, widely regarded as the economic powerhouse of Africa.

Managing Director of Ikapa Media, Moses Mwanjirah, says the Summit is expected to attract upwards of 600 delegates.

“Gabon has been sitting on an untapped stockpile of minerals and other resources for decades. The Summit will be the country’s first opportunity to reveal these resources to the world, and international mining houses and investors will be astonished at just what the country has to offer,” he says.

Gabon enacted a new Mining Code 12 October 2000, and all subsequent texts have now been passed. This code is such that agreements for establishing operations are no longer required, the taxation system has been simplified and the administrative procedures have been streamlined. To encourage greater development in the mining sector, the government has adopted an action programme that not only brings the legal framework up to date, but also shifts the focus towards strengthening the institutions in charge of regulating the mining sector.

In terms of the new legal framework, the Gabonese Republic has embarked on a structural reform policy based on the promotion of private investments as the driving force behind the development of its economy. The new Mining Code and the General Environmental Code, to which the Mining Code refers, are in line with this reform

Gabon covers an area of 267,000 [km.sub.2] and has a population of around 1.3 million. Its current wealth is derived primarily from oil and natural gas, which account for about 30% of its GDP.

Softwood (okoume) is also an important export, as are its mined products, uranium and manganese.

Recognizing the enormous role of the mining sector in supporting the country’s phenomenal growth, the Gabon government called for the Summit as a way to fully exploit the country’s vast resources for the first time in its history.

In the past five years, the Gabon government has achieved the following:

Committed itself to enhance the country’s geological infrastructure and develop its mining inventory.

Set up a high-performance mining database.

Reinforced the institutional capabilities for promoting the sector.

Geared its statutory, legislative and tax laws in line with international norms.

Millions of Euros have been spent over the last 10 years to boost Gabon’s mining sector, which is now seen as a major support sector in terms of economic prosperity and growth. The Summit will provide an ideal platform to advance Gabon’s mining agenda on a massive scale.

In a further groundbreaking initiative, the Ministry will launch a major new magazine, Invest Gabon, at the Summit. Published by Ikapa Media, the magazine will focus on further foreign direct investment into the country and serve as a pathfinder for Gabon’s future economic prosperity.

It will be the first magazine if its kind in Gabon and will be published in both English and French and distributed to a wide network of existing and potential foreign direct investors, major international corporations, African trade and investment organizations, diplomats, embassies and financial institutions. Invest Gabon will also be the official in-flight magazine of Gabon Airlines.

The Summit’s main objectives are short and simple:

To unveil the abundant mining opportunities in Gabon to the world.

To bring together leading mining experts from across Africa and the rest of the world, to explore the way forward regarding African economic prosperity through mining.

To further capitalise on previous gains made by Gabon in integrating the mining sector into Government growth plans that enhance service delivery.

To explore new technological opportunities in mining,

To determine and advance Africa’s global competitiveness through national regional collaborations.


The Gabon International Mining Expo and Conference


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