Friday, February 23, 2024

Academician Urges Skill Development for Gemstone Sector Growth and Revenue Boost


James Mazimba, an academician based in the Copperbelt, has emphasized the urgent need for enhanced skills development within the gemstone sector. Mazimba, who serves as a lecturer at Ndola’s Government-owned Gemstone Processing and Lapidary Training Centre, advocates for a significant boost in skilled labor to improve gemstone processing and consequently promote value addition within the industry.

Mazimba underscored that the current trend of predominantly exporting raw gemstones limits Zambia’s potential to maximize revenue from this valuable sector. He highlighted the crucial necessity for practical measures to bolster the gemstone sector, aligning with government initiatives aimed at promoting value addition.

The lecturer emphasized the critical role of supporting institutions such as the Gemstone Processing and Lapidary Training Centre in Ndola. He emphasized that such support would significantly benefit the gemstone sector, fostering the creation of finished products within the country.

Speaking to reporters in Ndola, Mazimba stressed the significance of transitioning from exporting raw gemstones to exporting finished products, asserting that skill development is pivotal in achieving this transition.

“Not all gemstone mines can engage in processing stones. However, with skilled individuals in the industry, mines can produce minerals, which can then be subjected to value addition before sale to local traders,” Mazimba explained. He further highlighted the potential scenario where Zambian traders equipped with processing skills would buy from the mines, process the minerals, and export finished products.

The academician expounded on the economic benefits of this approach, elucidating that a developed value addition process would lead to increased national revenue from the gemstone sector. He explained that value addition would expand the tax base, as not just the mines but also local buyers and exporters of finished products would contribute to the nation’s tax revenues.

“Value addition will not only diversify revenue sources but also optimize the economic contributions from the gemstone sector. Currently, it’s predominantly the mines that contribute to the tax revenue, but with enhanced value addition, a broader spectrum of contributors would bolster the nation’s financial gains,” Mazimba concluded.

Mazimba’s call for skill development and enhanced value addition within the gemstone sector highlights a pathway toward not just economic diversification but also an increased contribution to the nation’s revenue streams, reflecting a strategic approach towards maximizing Zambia’s gemstone potential.


    • Good question, but it seems this here scares a lot of people to venture into business. “but can you produce worldclass quality of the finished product??” If we are to reach that level, then we have to do the walking. We need to overcome the defeatist mindset. When i lived in Dar TZ they had this runny tomato ketchup sauce made in TZ and it was in every household. I did not taste like Heinz but the local ate it anyway. I hope that they have improved by now.

  1. I have always asked what students are studying at the school of mines and CBU. I will ask again, what are you studying, does the syllabus need to be changed? Because it seems the only business they all end up doing is supplying the mines, rather than being at the forefront of value addition.
    Mr President, can you quickly provide us with incentives that encourage and promote value addition. Starting from maize all the way to copper and other minerals. We need to realise that we are a very blessed nation.

  2. ……..

    We have always said…….

    GRZ needs to embark on targeted training for select your Zambians to make Zambians leaders of industry in our country………

    Young Zambians should be trained in small scale mining managment and construction management, in food production from farm produce…….

    The training should be with the view of owning and managing companies

  3. How about skills development for private TV stations, right now there is a private TV station on their main news with a caption saying Muslim association provide 20 boleholes but is that the spelling of borehole. Don’t mislead our children.

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