- 13th annual Africa Down Under resources conference starts in Perth today
- African delegation to share in resources and agriculture knowledge
The Western Australian Government is welcoming Ministers and senior delegates from across Africa this week as part of an ongoing strategy to share knowledge and skills across the agriculture and resource sectors.
The visit coincides with the annual Africa Down Under resources conference, which last year attracted more than 1,500 delegates to Perth.
Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett, who will open the three-day conference today, said Africa represented an exciting new market for Western Australian goods and services.
"With our long history of responsible resources development, WA is well placed to assist African countries to develop transparent, stable and mutually beneficial regulations for their resources sector," Mr Barnett said.
To coincide with the conference, senior staff from the departments of Mines and Petroleum and State Development will brief several groups of African ministerial delegates, including representatives of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member countries.
This week's activities will further the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between WA and the COMESA, a 19-member regional trading bloc, in January 2014.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said under the MoU, WA would provide assistance in developing regulations and legislation.
"This will help ensure the benefits from resources development in COMESA countries flow through to their communities, and also help provide opportunities for the Western Australian resources sector and service providers," Mr Marmion said.
The Premier and Mr Marmion will also attend a breakfast tomorrow with African mining ministers, ahead of the second Perth meeting of the MoU's Joint Working Group.
The Department of Agriculture and Food is also supporting COMESA by hosting delegates for a two-day visit program.
Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said the visiting COMESA delegates would have the opportunity to discuss biosecurity and food security issues with local experts.
"The program will enable the visitors to hear about strategies to minimise the impact of pests and diseases on crop and livestock production and supply chain losses in this State," Mr Baston said.
WA accounts for two-thirds of the Australian mining companies operating in Africa as of August 2015, operating more than 429 projects in 30 African countries.
- COMESA is comprised of Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
- In 2014-15, WA exported goods valued at almost $890 million to COMESA, and $1.4 billion to Africa as a whole
- The MoU with COMESA aims to promote co-operation in the fields of agriculture, mineral and petroleum resources, vocational education and capacity building
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Mines and Petroleum Minister's office - 6552 6800
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 5400