Newly appointed Commerce and Trade Minister, Christopher Yaluma has stressed the importance of local participation in the mining sector to ensure employment and wealth creation.
Mr. Yaluma, who until yesterday was Mines Minister, made the remarks when he paid a courtesy call on the African Caribbean Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretary General His Excellency Dr. Patrick Gomes in Brussels, Belgium.
Mr. Yaluma reiterated Zambia’s commitment to the ACP in its quest to ensure sustainable development and greater cooperation with other member states.
He commended Dr. Gomes for convening the just ended high-level Ministerial Meeting on Mineral Resources Development in ACP countries.
The two-day meeting was jointly organized by the ACP, African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (African Minerals Development Centre) under the theme Building Synergies between the African Mining Vision and the ACP Framework for Action for the development of the Mineral Resources Sector.
Mr. Yaluma also said preparations were underway for the International Conference on Artisanal and Smallscale Mining and Quarrying, which is expected to be held in Livingstone from 11th to 13th September, 2018.
Earlier, Mr. Yaluma paid a courtesy call on the Zambian Mission to Belgium.
The Minister encouraged the Zambian diplomats to continue marketing the country’s available investment opportunities.
Mr. Yaluma said he was happy with the conduct of Zambian diplomats as flag bearers for the country.
The Minister also said the opposition political parties in Zambia must allow the Patriotic Front government to rule and deliver the much needed development to the people.
Mr. Yaluma said although the opposition parties have their own intentions and agendas, they offer nothing tangible but destruction to Zambia’s image.
He said the opposition parties carry destructive messages to the outside world with the aim of attacking the government but forget the damage on Zambia’s image.
“The opposition are allowed to exist in a democratic dispensation such as ours in Zambia. Opposition is everywhere including in our homes where husband and wife are opposed to certain norms but it is better to accept the view of the other side,” Mr. Yaluma said.
He noted that social media had painted the country in bad light and yet development continued to take place in most parts of Zambia because of the massive infrastructure programmes.
“Even in Lusaka’s Chilenje and Kabwata, there is massive development such as the road infrastructure. If one has not been to these parts of Lusaka for two years and goes there, he or she would be surprised how the government has developed these areas,” said Mr. Yaluma.