The four days 2022 Investing in African Mining Indaba has opened in Cape Town South Africa with a call for African countries to work together towards harnessing the potential that lies in the continent’s mining sector.
And President Hakainde Hichilema who has joined other Heads of State and governments and about 6500 delegates at the indaba has pledged Zambia’s active participation in Africa’s economic agenda through unlocking investment potential in the extractive industry.
Delivering his key note address at the indaba, President Hichilema underscored that Africa will always remain a preferred investment destination in mining production and its value chain due to its rich endowment in natural resources.
He explained that for instance Zambia and Democratic of Congo (DRC) alone account for 70 percent of the world’s copper production, an indication that Africa is the mining hub of the World.
President Hichilema said to this effect, Zambia has started reforming its mining sector in order for the country to maximize its potential for economic development.
He said the African leadership also need to work together and ensure that there is sustainable deliberate efforts to make the industry attractive not only to foreign but also local investors for the benefit of the continent.
The President added that the Zambian government is currently addressing the many challenges that disturbed the growth of the mining industry thereby affecting economic development of the nation.
He cited the changes in the mining licensing, launching of an online payment portal to curb corruption as some of the measures that government is taking to improve the mining sector in the country.
And Botswana President, Mokgweetsi Masisi noted that it is sad to see many African countries continue to be poor despite having rich minerals that have not been exploited.
President Masisi said this is why there is need for African countries to devise collective mechanisms that will help resolve the challenges of low mining exploitation.
First Quantum Minerals (FQM) Chief Executive Officer, Tristan Pascall announced that plans have reached an advanced stage by his company to double its investment by adding 1.3 billion United States Dollars in its Kansanshi mine in North Western province for the next 20 years.
Mr. Pascall said this follows the assurance and stance taken by the new administration to create an enabling investment environment for investors in Zambia’s mining sector.
He further thanked President Hichilema for providing clear policy directions to govern the operations of the mining industry in Zambia.
South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe emphasised the need for Africa to come up with resilient measures that will address the current economic shocks in energy supply by embracing value additional to its minerals.
Mr. Mantashe noted that there is need for concerted investment decisions among African leaders on how best the abundant natural resources can be processed into finished goods and address some of its challenges such as the one being experienced in the energy sector.
He added that with the coming of the Africa Continent Free Trade Area, the African continent needs to unite and further explore the untapped opportunities that exist in various mineral deposits across Africa.
” As Africa, we need to build resilience that will address the shocks in the energy industry, there is no way that we can be affected like this high energy prices when we have different mineral deposits across Africa and all we need is value addition in to processed products, in order to find lasting solutions to our problems,” he said.