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Canadian mining law to help Zambia

THE Canadian government’s enactment of an Act compelling mining firms in that country to publicly disclose their financial payments will help give more access to information on the operations of Canadian mining companies operating in Zambia, the Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) says.
Recently, Canada’s legislature enacted an Act compelling its mining companies to publicly disclose the financial payments they make to government to promote transparency and reduce instances of corruption in the mining industry.
CTPD executive director Isabel Mukelabai said the legislation will also complement other transparency initiatives such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) that Zambia is already implementing.
Ms Mukelabai said in a statement availed to the Daily Mail on Tuesday that currently, the mining sector in Zambia contributes only seven percent to the treasury and it can be changed with such measures in place.
“Keeping with the recent global trend of combating corporate misconduct and corrupt practices, and as part of a commitment to increase transparency in the extractive industry, the Canadian government has enacted the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act.
“Given our country context where access to information, particularly on operations of the mining sector, is very limited to ordinary citizens and makes it extremely challenging for citizens to exact accountability, this piece of legislation will help give more access to information on the operations of Canadian mining companies operating in Zambia,” she said.
She urged other governments to emulate Canada and put similar legislation in place that will support greater transparency for the extractive industry in resource-rich regions and greater beneficiation for local communities.
Ms Mukelabai said for companies, enhanced transparency is good for business, helping to promote a more stable investment climate and secure a social licence to operate.
She also said transparency can benefit resource governance by providing a tool for governments to build capacity for tax collection and management.