In 2021, convening the AMI in the usual fashion was a challenge given the restrictions that came with the Covid-19 pandemic. For the first time in 12 years, the conference was held virtually under the theme, “Building forward together, pivoting the extractives sector for adaptation and resilience against Covid-19”.
The AMI took place at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in the deaths of thousands of Africans, and over two million people worldwide, having ravaged communities and pushed millions into further poverty amidst exacerbating levels of socio-economic inequality to unprecedented levels.
The AMI2022 Theme: ‘A just energy transition for sustainable mining communities in a climate crisis era’.
An engaged African citizenry that uses its agency to demand legal reforms, transparency and accountability and responsible supply chains in the mining sector for the benefit of current and future generations.
To provide mining-affected communities from across the African continent with a safe space to dialogue and seek solutions to their concerns with the mining sector. In particular, the 2021 AMI will focus on analysing the impact of COVID-19 on the extractive industries and in particular communities impacted by mining.
Providing communities and non-state actors with a safe space for dialogue and engagement with national governments and extractive industry players on key concerns of affected communities.
Capacity to build communities and non-state actors on key concepts and issues related to the energy transition and the extractive industries in Africa.
Seek and generate solutions towards building more sustainable mining communities post-Covid-19 supported by a just energy transition.
Given that this year’s AMI will be a hybrid event, the expectation is for the participation of at least 500 participants consisting of FBO’s, NGO’s, CBO’s, academics, journalists, youth, women and environmental and NRG practitioners from at least 30 countries, consisting of:
Members of Parliament and other key Official Stakeholders
Representatives from the steering committee
Private sector representatives
Representatives of directly affected communities
Representatives of NGO’s
Faith-based organizations and leaders
The Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) is a global platform that brings all stakeholders together annually for a conference that debates, discusses various issues as well as serves as an empowerment tool through training of communities. The AMI convenes an annual conference in Cape Town every February, which is a culmination of decentralised national processes that take place in more than 12 African countries.
While initially focused predominantly in Southern Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in the East have also joined, with country-specific conferences and workshops within communities where extraction of mineral resources occurs. The processes are convened as Village-level Alternative Mining Indabas (VAMI’s) or Local-level AMI’ (LAMI’s), District-level AMI’s (DAMI’s), Provincial AMIs (PAMI’s) and National AMI’s (NAMI’s).
Thus the overall AMI experience or umbrella annually reaches or is accessed by about 6000 participants directly and cascades to a further 8000 through advocacy and campaign activities. The timing of these processes is to coincide and counter industry-related conferences and seminars and narratives while allowing communities to interact with government and mining company officials in the countries where mining takes place.
To date, the platform has successfully grown into a space for honest engagement with policymakers including in African Union (AU) structures, SADC and soon East African Community (EAC), as well as National Governments, in relation to the importance of harmonisation of policy in the regions.
The platform emphasises critical, joint and comprehensive monitoring by extractives industries, host countries, and most importantly host communities with the support of civil society organisations to safeguard the preservation and care of creation for future generations.