Building capacity in governance of minerals and energy is demonstrably some of the most effective foreign aid that Australia can provide. Australia has globally-leading mining knowledge, technology, management and approaches to sustainability – and Australian institutions and companies are very willing to share their knowledge with developing country partners.
Australia also has incentive: Australian companies are amongst the largest offshore investors in exploration and mining, while Australian companies in mining equipment, technology and services supply markets globally. Well-governed companies operate best in well-governed nations. Australian-based companies and universities are leaders in advocating for high quality minerals and energy governance and in promoting collaboration with stakeholders to achieve shared benefits outcomes. Agencies from Australian State and Commonwealth Governments are very willing to share knowledge and systems around sound governance. They understand that if developing countries do mining well, then others, including Australia benefit.
Interactions with IM4DC course participants and alumni, plus senior officials and ministers, highlight the value that developing countries place on Australia’s partnerships with them to build capacity in mining governance.
In Indonesia, for example, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said has emphasised to industry leaders the importance of building capacity in governance of Indonesia’s mineral and energy sectors if they are to fulfil their potential. Minister Sudirman expressed appreciation of the partnership that his Ministry’s Education and Training Agency has with IM4DC and the cooperation of Australian-based companies and government agencies in readily sharing information and insights.
New research has reinforced the impact of IM4DC. Our alumni have told researchers that IM4DC programs have enabled them to translate learning into practice and to bring about positive changes to their work and organisations. Alumni have developed their leadership capability, initiated innovative activities and changes, strengthened their networks, and believe that they can contribute to the improvement of social, economic, and environmental outcomes of their home countries.
Better governance can build the minerals and energy sectors sustainably, achieving returns for all stakeholders, create employment and business opportunities, facilitate infrastructure development and protect the environment.
The IM4DC Alumni Forum and Mining for Development Conference on 29 and 30 April will bring together stakeholders from Australia and its developing country partners to review what we have done together so far, discuss what we can do better and recommend to our institutions enhanced ways of achieving our shared goals to unleash benefits from minerals and energy development, equitably shared.