Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mining a major contributor to job creation – Kabuswe

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Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Paul Kabuswe says mining in Zambia spans over 100 years and contributes to job creation and over 80 percent of export earnings for the country.

In a speech read on his behalf by Copperbelt Province Permanent Secretary Augustine Kasongo at the Africa Gemstone and Jewelry Exhibition Conference held in Ndola, Mr Kabuswe noted that the country boasts of an abundance of base metals which include copper, cobalt and manganese, precious and semi-precious minerals among them gold, gemstone and emerald.

He added that government is encouraging the production and processing of the minerals.

He further said government is facilitating local ownership of mines to increase participation of Zambians in the sector.

The Minister stated that mining has been identified as a key sector to drive the agenda of economic transformation and job creation.

“For this reason the government is focused on diversifying the mining sector through the promotion and exploitation of other minerals such as gemstone, gold, nickel, manganese and iron mainly characterized by small-scale miners,” he said.

African Minerals Development Center Interim Director Marit Kitaw said Africa’s vast mineral wealth remains an important driver of structural transformation enshrined in the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063, as it represents about 30 percent of the mineral deposits of the world.

Dr. Kitaw added that Africa’s exports of oil, gas, and minerals account for 70 percent of exports and 50 percent revenue.

She noted that despite the enormous potential of the mineral industry, most African countries have historically been unable to benefit from their natural wealth, because of disproportionate dependence on minerals exports which is a major vulnerability as it exposes the region to the fluctuations of commodity prices.

“The Africa Mining Vision (AMV) was adopted by African Union Heads of State and Government in 2009 and aims to ensure minerals play a greater transformative role in the development of the continent.

The African Union Heads of State and Governments adopted the AMV to serve as Africa’s road map for strategically harnessing its mineral resources for broad-based sustainable development,” she said.

Dr Kitaw said Africa is home to different and unquantifiable deposits of gemstones, and is a key producer of a variety of colored gemstones including Ethiopia’s Opal, Kenya’s Tsavorite, Madagascar’s Sapphires, Mozambique’s Rubies, Tanzania’s Tanzanite, and Zambia’s Emeralds.

She added that African gemstones and metals contribute to a growing multi billion jewelry industry with global sales estimated at US$279 billion in 2018 and expected to rise over 70 percent to US$480.5 billion by 2025.

“The jewelry retail industry ranges from high-end luxury products, such as earrings, watches, and necklaces made of precious stones like diamond, ruby, and gold to fashion jewelry made of non-precious metals, stones, and other materials.” She noted.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Your current economic policies are lopsided. The private sector, the SMEs, can create more employment than what the mines can offer. Harness the private sector and you will be smiling at how much revenue you can get.
    This idea of respecting an investor from outside more than a local one should come to an end

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