Minister of Mines, Christopher Yaluma, says Zambia is politically stable and has assured investors that their investments are safe even when the country goes to elections in August this year.
And the Minister held a meeting with the Oil and Gas Council in the United Kingdom to discuss on how the entity could collaborate with Zambia to explore and extract the vast potential petroleum resources in the country.
During the Zambia Mining Investment Conference held in London on Monday Mr. Yaluma said Zambia has maintained a reputable record of peaceful and democratic elections which makes the country a conducive place for doing business adding that the investment climate in Zambia was characterised by a stable microeconomic and political environment, which guarantee security to investment.
The minister said Zambia was an attractive investment destination that was trying to diversify in various lucrative investment which included tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, energy and mining but that the mining sector has, and will continue, to play a pivotal role in the economic development of the country.
Mr. Yaluma said despite the current challenges prevailing with regards to mining, the industry had continued to record positive growth and there was an increased mineral production, expansion of existing mines and opening of new mines.
He said there was a good working relationship between the Zambian Government and the mining sector as evidenced by the Mining Investment Conference.
The Minister said that Government’s policy is to intensify exploration activities to spur the development of new mines with the aim of creating employment, business opportunities and ultimately contributing to wealth creation adding that the Government recently adopted an articulate mining policy that provides for private sector-led investment in the exploitation of minerals resources meant to secure both returns on investment and significant contribution to the development of Zambia.
Honourable Yaluma also held discussions with Rift Petroleum, a subsidiary of Tower Resources PLC who are already involved in oil and gas exploration in Zambia and are looking to expand their operations.
He also met with Tullow Oil PLC, a major oil exploration company with operations in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana, among other African countries and are looking to undertake some oil exploration works in Zambia.
The minister said exploration for oil and gas provides for investment opportunities, adding that results from preliminary exploration works indicated that Zambia had vast potential in petroleum.
He encouraged the companies interested in the oil and gas industry to come to Zambia and explore the huge opportunities unfolding in the sector and that the Zambian Government was committed to facilitating private sector led development of the oil and gas industry in Zambia.
He said the London meeting was a success, and expressed optimism that it would attract more investment into Zambia for the benefit of the people.
“This has been a successful trip. A lot of investors want to invest in Zambia and they are settling for Zambia because the investment climate in Zambia is characterised by a stable macroeconomic environment, stable political system and investment guarantees and security. We had a meeting with Oil and Gas Council here in London and we discussed how we can collaborate on this issue. We want them to help us and connect us to the right people,” the Minister said.
After the meeting honourable. Yaluma had exclusive interviews with some of the world’s top news media that included Bloomberg Magazine, Reuters, Debtwire and the Economist. The Minister featured on BBC Africa Radio and appeared on a live TV programme – BBC Focus on Africa.
The Oil and Gas Council provides a forum where current and arising issues for the oil and gas supply chain can be discussed. It advises the UK Government on the implementation of the industrial strategy for oil and gas as part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy. The Council has 23 members including six Government representatives, one Trade Union representative, 14 industry representatives and two representatives from Oil and Gas UK.