Mining plays a significant role in the development process of SADC by creating wealth and employment and a market for other industries such as manufacturing and services. Mining activities have also resulted in the development of physical infrastructure, such as communication, energy and water.
Recognising that a thriving mining sector can contribute to economic development, alleviation of poverty and an improved standard and quality of life throughout the region, Member States of SADC decided to establish a Protocol on Mining agreeing to adopt internationally accepted regional standards within the mining sector. Through the Protocol Member states agree to share information on exploitable mineral resources in the region, enhance the technological capacity of the sector as well as promote policies that will encourage and assist small scale farming. Environmental and occupational health and safety issues are highlighted.