THE AUSTRALIA-Africa Minerals & Energy Group (AAMEG) has appointed Base Resources managing director Tim Carstens as the peak body’s chairman.

AAMEG chief executive Trish O’Reilly said Mr Carstens had been a strong ambassador for Australian investment into Africa since Base embarked on developing its successful Kenyan mineral sands project in 2010.

Setting the scene for his first 12 months as chairman, Mr Carstens said a key focus for 2016 would be promoting the importance of Africa to Australia.

“AAMEG’s interaction with African governments over the past 12 months has reaffirmed the group’s belief that African nations are still hungry for investment from Australian companies,” he said.

Mr Carstens takes over the role from long serving chairman and one of the organisation’s founding directors, Bill Turner.

Ms O’Reilly acknowledged the significant role played by Mr Turner in building AAMEG into the peak body supporting Australian resource companies operating in Africa, with the group gaining national and international recognition under his stewardship.

Ms O’Reilly said Australia was still one of the top investors in exploration in Africa, with 190 Australia Securities Exchange-listed companies currently active in 590 projects across 38 countries.

“AAMEG supports member companies operating in Africa and facilitates collaboration between industry, governments and key stakeholders to assist where possible in the delivery of sustainable outcomes to both companies and communities,” she added.