Antonio M.A. Pedro is a mineral exploration geologist with more than 30 years of broad experience of and exposure to development issues and management at national, sub-regional, and continental levels. He joined the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in 2001, where he is currently the Director of ECA’s Sub-regional Office for Central Africa, based in Yaounde, Cameroon. For 7 years, he occupied the same position in the ECA office for Eastern Africa, in Kigali, Rwanda.
Prior to joining ECA, he was the Director General of the Southern and Eastern African Mineral Centre (SEAMIC), in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In his current capacity as Director of ECA’s SRO-CA, he played a leading role in the design of the SRO-CA flagship initiative “Made in Central Africa” which has become the rallying point for the efforts of several Central African governments to diversify their economies and reduce their exposure to external shocks arising out of their excessive dependence on the export of commodities.
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he spearheaded the formulation of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) which was adopted by the African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government in February 2009. The vision advocates for “transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development”. As Chief of Infrastructure and Natural Resources Development at ECA, he led the work of the organisation on mining, water, transport, and energy development. As such, he was responsible for promoting regional policy harmonisation and alignment; developing conceptual frameworks to support integrated infrastructure and natural resources development and to strengthen the business fundamentals of regional projects and their ability to scale-up multiplier effects and horizontal and vertical linkages across multiple value chains; spearheading policy analysis, raising awareness and building consensus on emerging issues; and disseminating best practices, building capacity and rendering advisory services in the fields of mining, water, transport, and energy development.
He is a member of the International Resources Panel (IRP), Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), Co-Chair of the SDSN Thematic Network on the Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources (TG10), a faculty member and visiting lecturer of the “Extractive Industry and Sustainable Development Executive Training Programme” at the Columbia Centre on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) Columbia University as well as a former lecturer on Mineral Policy and Contract Negotiations at the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (UNIDEP) and Honorary Fellow of the Graduate School of Natural Resources Law, Policy and Management of the University of Dundee, Scotland. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and Advisory Groups of several institutions and global initiatives including the Advisory Board of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Scientific Journal, Mineral Economics, former member of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Mining and Metals of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Strategic Management Advisory Group (SMAG) of the World Bank hosted Communities and Small-scale Mining (CASM) and of the Advisory Boards of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) and the International Centre for Training and Exchanges in Geosciences (CIFEG).
Through collaboration with WEF, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) , UNSDSN, IRP and other platforms, he advocates Africa’s positions at the global level and contributes to the shaping of global thinking and discourse on development issues of concern to Africa and the world, especially issues to do with sustainable development (including inputs to the UNSDSN Six SDG Transformations paper, a call , geopolitics of resource extraction, global resource security, the future of mining, conflict minerals, corporate social responsibility, responsible mining, resource-based industrialisation, local content, contract negotiations, illicit financial flows, ASM and international governance architecture in fragile terrains (e.g. sea-bed resources).
His current research interest is broad in nature and focuses on economic diversification as well as mineral resources governance and the interface between mineral resources exploitation and the SDGs.