Theme pack raw materials
By 2050, global consumption of raw materials will triple to 140 billion tonnes per year according to estimates by the United Nations. The reasons behind this are an expanding population and economic growth. As a country with relatively few natural resources, Germany is reliant on secure supplies of metals, minerals and raw materials for energy generation. These supplies are imported from more than 160 countries, many of them developing countries, where the extractive industries hold enormous potential for sustainable development. At the same time the raw materials sector poses huge challenges for the countries of origin. On behalf of the German Government, GIZ advises 30 partner countries on developing legal, political and economic frameworks for this sector and putting these frameworks to effective use.
In many regions of Ghana, mining is fundamentally changing the living conditions of large numbers of people. By way of compensation, the local communities receive a specified proportion of the government’s revenues from raw materials, and mining companies undertake to help finance the building of local infrastructure. The situation is similar in Mongolia’s Zaamar Soum mining area. The municipality receives funds to enable it to enhance the locality’s prospects on its own initiative. For economic development to be sustainable, however, it is not enough for the state to rely solely on revenues from raw material exports. The amount of work and income generated directly for the local population from mining is limited. Establishing supplier companies for the mining industry and other companies to process raw materials can create significantly more employment opportunities than mining itself. One example is northern Afghanistan, where many families make a living by working the gemstones extracted there to produce jewellery. With support from GIZ, the local jewellers have received training in new processing techniques, and are now better equipped to face the future with confidence.