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General News of Thursday, 28 February 2013

Source: Cameroon Tribune

PM Recommends Efficiency in Mining Sector

Below is a press release from the Prime Minister's Office following the February 2013 cabinet meeting.

His Excellency Philemon YANG, Prime Minister, Head of Government, this Wednesday, 27 February 2013, as from 11am chaired an important Cabinet Meeting in the main building of the Prime Minister's Office. The meeting was attended by the Vice Prime Minister, the Minister of State, Minister of Tourism and Leisure, Ministers, Ministers Delegate as well as Secretaries of State.

The meeting focused on three themes, namely:

A statement by the Minister of Social Affairs on «the Status Report of the Enforcement of Law No. No.2010/2 of 13 April 2010 on the Protection and Promotion of Disabled Persons » ;

A statement by the Minister of Transport on « Government Programme for the Rehabilitation of the National Meteorology System » ;

A statement by the minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development on « the Progress Report and prospects of Gold Mining in Cameroon ».

The Minister of Social Affairs started her statement by presenting an overview of Law No. 2010/2 of 13 April 2010 on the protection and promotion of disabled persons which offers a holistic approach and is consistent with the major trends of international instruments for the protection of vulnerable persons. She underscored that this law provides Cameroon with an efficient tool for socio-economic inclusion based on the prevention of deficiencies, readjustment of disabled persons, their socio-economic integration and participation in politics.

The minister revealed that since 2010 her ministry has been undertaking measures to popularize the law of 13 April 2010 mentioned above and to promote the rights stated in the law. In addition, actions have been taken as concerns education, vocational training, and rehabilitation, the development of training or integration facilities through sports, as evidenced by the setting up of the National Paralympics Committee in 2010.

However, the Minister of Social Affairs deplored the fact that the beneficial effects of this pioneering law are diminished by persistent prejudices, discrimination and stigmatization of disabled persons. She noted that one of the future challenges of our country is to ensure the systematic taking into account of disability approach, according to required standards, in all sectors of society.

At the end of the discussions following this statement, the Head of Government enjoined the Minister of Social Affairs to pursue the upgrading of the Cardinal Paul Emile LEGER National Center for the Rehabilitation of Handicapped Persons (CNRPH) of Yaounde, especially by improving its technical platform and, to complete the construction of the Maroua Centre for the Rehabilitation of Handicapped Persons.

The floor was then given to the Minister of Transport who started by recalling that the rehabilitation of the national meteorology system is a major concern of the President of the Republic, featured in the road map of his ministry.

The status report presented by the minister revealed that the national meteorology system has seriously deteriorated since 1994. The full audit of this system conducted by ASECNA in 2012 highlighted the acute shortage of human resources, the dearth of measurement instruments and meteorological inputs, a lack of equipment maintenance and transmission means, buildings in an advanced state of ruin and non-standard weather stations. Only the three synoptic stations of Yaounde, Douala and Maroua transferred to ASECNA for air navigation services are still functioning at optimum capacity.

As concerns the upgrading of the national meteorological network, the Minister of Transport advocated, among other measures, the construction of a National Meteorological Centre, the acquisition of 20 automatic weather stations, the rehabilitation of 18 weather stations and the increase both in quality and number of the human resources of the Department of National Meteorology.

The Prime Minister instructed the Minister of Transport to finalize and forward to his office, the draft decree for the setting up of a legal public institution charged with the formulation and implementation of Government meteorology policy.

Lastly, the meeting listen to the statement of the Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development on "the status report and prospects of Gold Mining in Cameroon ». The minister started by stressing that gold is one of some thirty minerals that can be mined in Cameroon, but is still limited to small-scale mining.

Continuing his statement, he emphasized that the bulk of gold prospection is in the East Region which has for now recorded 1892 small-scale gold mining permits and 48 purchasing and marketing offices. In the first half of 2012, the volume of gold declared by the companies operating in the rescue operation prior to the watering of Lom Pangar dam and small-scale miners was about 92.6 kilos, far below the real potential.

The Minister in charge of Mines explained that this situation is caused by the many difficulties involved in this activity, amongst which: the shortcomings of the legal and statutory framework, the lack of means to control production, insufficient information on sub-soil geological data, insecurity in mining areas and bad governance which up to recent prevailed within the Centre for Support to the Development of Mining Activities (CAPAM)

He underscored that however there is hope for a brighter future, based on the actions undertaken to revamp the gold sector. This entails the establishing of the production sharing contract in mechanized gold mining, the including of the State's share of gold production in formal sales channels, such as London Metal Exchange (LME), the subsequent setting up of a company to defend the interests of the State as concerns solid mines, greater control and monitoring of gold and mineral resources mining.

After this statement, the Prime Minister enjoined the Minister in charge of mines to efficiently clean up the gold mining sector as prescribed by the Head of State in his speech of 31 December 2012.

The meeting ended at 1.30 pm.

Yaounde, the 27 February 2013