The Centre for Trade Policy and Development in Zambia has challenged the civil society organizations in Sinazongwe district to actively participate in the monitoring of service delivery realized from revenue collected through exploitation of natural resources such minerals from the extractive industries.
This came to light during a one day meeting for the civil society organizations (CSOs) and other stakeholders such as government departments, parastatals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which was organized by the Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) on strengthening advocacy patterns for re-adoption of the natural resources revenue sharing mechanism.
The meeting was aimed at engaging beneficiaries from national level to provincial and district levels to demand for their benefits from exploitation of natural resources such as minerals within their localities.
CTPD Programmes Officer Bennie Mwiinga said his organization had put in place natural resources watch groups to monitor the collection and expenditure of revenue from natural resources such as minerals and others and ensure that communities benefit from the exploitation of such resources.
Mr. Mwiinga called for strengthening of linkages between the natural resource watch group, CSOs and other stakeholders with a focus of monitoring service delivery from revenue realized from exploitation of resources such as minerals from the mining sector and others like the fisheries industry and forestry.
He said CTPD was promoting participation from all stakeholders and urged the natural resource watch group in Sinazongwe district to consider revising its composition to include other stakeholders rather than only community members that reside within localities of investments that exploit natural resources such the mining companies.
Mr. Mwiinga said this would help with effective monitoring of services and also ensure strengthened advocacy for the adoption of the mineral revenue sharing mechanism into the legislature for the benefit of communities in the district.
And delivering a presentation on the mineral revenue sharing mechanism phase two of the project, CTPD Economic Governance Officer Natalie Mwila said the objective of the legislative mineral sharing mechanism was to strengthen local communities at the district level with the ability to engage and demand for benefits from the exploitation of natural resources such as minerals.
Ms. Mwila explained that advocacy for re-adoption of the mechanism was being implemented by CTPD through the natural resource watch groups at the district level for the past three years as it had been initially removed from the legislature due to lack of a component on revenue collection and sharing with no clear guidelines on how best it was going to be implemented.
She said currently, the aspect of revenue collection and guidelines had been addressed and included in the mechanism hence the advocacy for re-adoption into the legislature.
Ms. Mwila said the mechanism was also aimed at supporting documentation, dissemination and sharing of key lessons learnt from service delivery monitoring in the natural resources exploitation such as minerals.
She said improved linkages of extractive advocacy among the CSOs, natural resource watch group and all other stakeholders would improve service delivery monitoring.
The Economic Governance Officer for CTPD said revenue realized from extractive industry must be seen to benefit community members within localities of investments through expenditure on effective service delivery.