In a move to enhance the gemstone mining sector in Zambia, President Hakainde Hichilema held a meeting at State House with a delegation led by Mr. Sean Gilbertson, the CEO of Gemfields Group, and Kagem Mining. The discussions revolved around key aspects of gemstone mining, including the formalization of artisanal miners and strengthening partnerships to create employment opportunities in this vital sector.
During the meeting, the President emphasized the importance of emulating successful models from neighboring countries to formalize artisanal miners. This approach is expected to stimulate economic growth and job creation within the sector. Notably, Kagem Mining, a prominent player in Zambia’s gemstone industry, is 25% owned by the Zambian people through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
President Hichilema underscored the joint responsibility of safeguarding the country’s precious gemstone resources, as he stated, “With Kagem being 25% owned by the Zambian people through IDC, we are joint custodians of the people’s resources. It is through joint ventures and partnerships like this that we can grow this key sector, to benefit the people from our natural resource endowment.”
Zambia holds the distinction of being the world’s leading producer of emeralds, with its high-quality gemstones highly sought after and commanding premium prices in global markets. However, President Hichilema acknowledged the need to improve transparency and efficiency in the sector to ensure that the benefits of this resource endowment are maximized for the nation’s development.
The President pledged to continue engaging at this level to explore opportunities for the industry’s advancement, and he encouraged active participation from Zambians in the country’s economic development process. The gemstone sector is recognized as a crucial driver of economic growth, and the government’s commitment to fostering partnerships and enhancing transparency in this field is seen as a positive step toward realizing its full potential.
The gemstone sector holds significant promise for Zambia, and continued efforts to bolster its growth are expected to yield tangible benefits for the country.