A congress for Russian and African science and technology mining experts opened here on Tuesday to explore ways to enhance the training of mining engineers.
The week-long event themed: “International Congress: Africa Seeks Solutions,” has attracted 150 participants from 45 African countries.
This event was organised by the International Competence Centre for Mining Engineering Education under the auspices of Unesco in partnership with the Subsoil Africa Consortium of Universities and the Catherine ll St Petersburg Mining University.
Subsoil Africa Consortium of Universities President Prof Paul Omojo Omaji told the Herald that the congress aimed to improve production in mining and processing industries on the continent.
“This is a very important event which has brought together mining experts in geology, metallurgy, geo-physics and other key specialist areas to firstly officially launch the consortium and more broadly to explore ways to enhance the training of our mining engineers as well as enhance mining and processing efficiencies,” he said.
A 12-member delegation of Zimbabwean experts drawn from universities, research institutions and Government were attending the congress. This congress was part of efforts to fulfil the implementation of some of the major agreements that were made at the Russia – Africa Summit in July this year.
Prof Omaji said the congress sought to share experiences and opportunities for the training of mining engineers to enhance mining development and efficiency in resource supply.
Mining remains the bullwark of the African economy contributing substantially to revenue and GDP.
The continent still grapples with a shortage of specialists capable of mining and processing minerals. Africa has lost billions in potential revenue due to lack of mining engineers and equipment to process and add value on the continent.
Prof Omaji said promoting the training of engineers will spur Africa’s economic development.
“lt is our hope that through this congress, the Russia – Africa relationship will be strengthened in the areas of capacity building for our mining engineers in Africa,” he said.
Zimbabwe and Russia have signed several cooperation agreements under the Zimbabwe – Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Technical and Scientific Cooperation. President Mnangagwa attended the 2nd Russia- Africa Summit in July where he urged Russian companies to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that exist in the agro-industrial sector, lithium mining, energy and infrastructure development.
More than 1200 Zimbabwean students are studying in Russian universities. In 2021, the Zimbabwe Geospatial Agency and the Southwest University on space science and technology innovation signed an implementation agreement.
“For the consortium to be useful, it must do well in terms of its focus – capacity building of our mining engineers,” Prof Omaji said.
“Africa needs to indigenise the skills in mining, ensure value addition in the entire mineral chain and ensure its people benefit from resource extraction. “We must ensure that whatever is started, is done and completed.”
African Times has published this article in partnership with The Herald ZW