Too often, in the rush to get a project up and running, the project team skips a crucial step. They neglect to take the time to consider the larger context and to ensure all partners have a common understanding of the project scope, its goals and what it will take to successfully deliver results.
The project team for CIRDI’s Supporting the Ministry of Mines (SUMM) in Ethiopia project avoided that mistake. In fact, working closely with their government partners, they went above and beyond normal inception-phase protocol to develop a strategic plan for the project that considers and aligns with multiple factors.
Over a six-month period, the CIRDI team collaborated with its government partners, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoMPNG) and the Geological Survey of Ethiopia to establish a common understanding of the project’s scope and to ensure that the project was aligned with the Ethiopia’s long-term goals for the mineral sector as identified in the country’s ambitious Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II).
The result was a detailed project implementation strategy that was approved enthusiastically in November 2016 by both partners – the Government of Ethiopia and the funder, Global Affairs Canada.
“We are grateful to the Minister and his staff for investing so much time at the front end of this project to be sure that we have a shared vision of the ultimate goal and how we are going to get there,” said Isabeau Vilandre, CIRDI director of the SUMM project.
Launched in April 2016, the five-year, $15 million SUMM project is designed to strengthen the capacity and organizational management of Ethiopia’s mining ministry. The project’s ultimate objective is to improve the long-term management of a minerals sector that contributes to sustainable development in Ethiopia. The plan identifies the following strategic outcomes:
- Establish a consistent, predictable and transparent licensing system.
- Develop inclusive stakeholder-responsive frameworks, structures and processes.
- Increase capacity to provide world-class geoscience information and promote priority industrial minerals services.
These are supported by cross-cutting management strategies including:
- Legal and administrative consolidation of mineral sector rules
- Gender Equality Strategy
- Community Development & Environmental Management Strategy
Ethiopia’s GTP II is the country’s main economic roadmap for 2016-2021. The mineral sector is a major pillar of the strategy, which aims to eradicate poverty and create the conditions for transition to a middle-income country.
The Government of Ethiopia’s strategic direction also is informed by other international initiatives such as the African Mining Vision, the Minimata Convention on Mercury, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Sustainable Development Goals.
In addition, the SUMM project looked for synergies with other international aid initiatives related to mining sector governance in Ethiopia, including two others funded by Global Affairs Canada. The aim is to avoid duplication of effort and to maximize efficiencies and leverage investment where possible.
With the formal approval and endorsement of the Project Implementation Plan and an office and team established in Addis Ababa, the SUMM project is poised for rapid implementation. 2017 will see the SUMM project well underway and beginning to deliver results in its first year of operation.