Zambia is among the countries that will benefit from the 13. 1 million Euros African, Caribbean and Pacific European Union (ACP-EU) capacity building mineral development programme.
Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary (PS) Paul Chanda said government will prioritize the promotion and production of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) in order to spur national development.
Mr. Chanda was speaking when he officiated at the 5-day training workshop dubbed, “inclusive finance for mineral development” in Lusaka today.
Mr. Chanda said the promotion of ASM that includes mining of gravel, clay, stones, limestone, granite and phosphates has potential of diversifying the economy when quarried, processed, manufactured domestically in industries such as agriculture, construction, and manufacturing.
Mr. Chanda said with government’s economic diversification agenda, ASM is key to job creation as enshrined in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).
The PS noted that Zambia is highly dependent on copper production which is exploited and has not supported growth of a diversified and resilient economy.
He observed that most ASM and small medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) in the sub-sector lack awareness of the available financing business services.
He however assured that government is focusing on generating geological information which can easily be accessed by ASM and SMEs in the country.
He commended United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in conjunction with African Guarantee Fund (AGF) for identifying 45 participants who are under-going training.
“I’m optimistic that this training will go a long way in enhancing ASM and SMEs access to finance and business services and l urge the participants to use the gained knowledge prudently,” the PS said.
And speaking earlier, UNDP Country Director, Mandisa Mashologu disclosed that developing the mineral sector can reduce poverty and vulnerability as well as inequalities among the Zambian people.
Ms. Mashologu pledged her organization’s commitment towards supporting Zambia to achieve her sustainable development goals and Vision 2030 agendas.
She further disclosed that over 40 percent of adult population in Zambia are directly employed by ASM and SMEs activities.
And African Guarantee Fund Representative Patrick Mumba unveiled a U$D1.6 billion for financing through financial institutions for mineral development initiatives in the country.