Emerging Leaders in African Mining program

The January E-News featured a major initiative for IM4DC, with the initial Emerging Leaders in African Mining program held in Cape Town, South Africa in January and February 2014.

The two week program, co-hosted with the Africa Minerals Development Centre (AMDC), focused on leadership concepts and practices in the context of minerals developments. 

It was one of the most popular of the programs that IM4DC has organised to date, with more than 100 applications received. A total of 26 participants representing government agencies, civil society organisations, academic institutions and industry organisations across 16 countries were involved, and committed themselves enthusiastically to the interactive workshop.

The program was facilitated by Professor David Brereton from The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, Winthrop Professor David Day from The University of Western Australia’s School of Business, and locally-based facilitator Elspeth Donovan from the South African office of The University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership. 

Mining Indaba LLC, hosts of the African Mining Indaba Conference, supported the program.

The first week of the program included sessions on the changing global context of mining, effective leadership, addressing complex and ‘wicked’ problems, networking and collaboration; it also included a number of guest presenters including Benjamin Aryee, CEO of the Ghana Minerals Commission, and Ola Bello from the South African Institute for International Affairs Governance of Africa’s Resources Program. 

During the second week, participants attended the Mining Indaba Conference, putting their new-found skills into practice in conversations with industry and government representatives. The group was actively involved in posing questions in conference panel sessions, and reflected on the experience in a final debrief at the end of the week. 

The feedback from the group was overwhelmingly positive, with one of the most-commented on benefits being the opportunity to hear each-others’ stories and experiences. 

One participant commented:

“The diverse experiences, outlooks, perspectives and personalities of the group enriched the whole experience and personally I learned from each and every one of you…”

The group also appreciated the interactive and adaptive nature of the workshop:

“Thank you for the fantastic manner in which you structured the course, for your flexibility in accomodating our learnings and additional input as we went along and for constantly being available to us as a point of reference and support.”

Various constructive suggestions were also made to further strengthen the program, and we look forward to developing this stream of activity further over the next twelve months.

In the meantime, IM4DC would like to wish this first group of young leaders every success in implementing the plans they have made as they return to their workplaces, and we look forward to hearing about their successes.