European geologists will start training their colleagues in Africa to increase the geoscientific knowledge, so that the African countries better can exploit its mineral wealth and other natural resources in a sustainable way. Africa is rich in minerals and unique landscapes which can create growth and prosperity on the continent. But many countries lack the knowledge to exploit these resources.
In the new project PanAfGeo, the geologists from several European Geological Surveys will educate their colleagues from the Geological Surveys in the African countries in several geoscientific themes which include geological mapping, assessment of mineral potential and environmental management of mines. PanAfGeo is funded by the EU and is part of the European aid program to African Union Commission (AUC).
Sustainable small scale mining in Africa
The PanAfGeo project was presented during this week at the 35th International Geological Congress in Cape Town in South Africa. The project is led by the French Geological Survey - BRGM and GEUS participates in training work within two themes. These are the artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) area, where GEUS is in charge of the training program and training of Africans in the management of geoinfomation.
Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is an important livelihood for millions of people in Africa. The minerals are usually dug out under poor safety conditions in cramped and deep shafts. When the workers extracting eg. gold, they often use mercury, causing environmental and health problems if not handled properly.
GEUS has in recent years been analyzing and improving conditions in the ASM profession in several African countries, and the work has included training of both the workers and staff of the authorities to improve working methods and to increase their awareness of creating a sustainable business both in terms of economy, health and environment.
The PanAfGeo project is a result of a feasibility study that has clarified the need for geological knowledge in Africa. This feasibility study was funded by the EU and was handled by the association of Geological Surveys in Europe - EuroGeoSurveys and the Organisation of African Geological Surveys (OAGS), which is the corresponding African association.
John Tychsen, GEUS representative
Phone.: +45 21 47 43 31