TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
COMMON Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) says the region, which holds the largest potential for minerals development on the continent, can be sustainably harassed through leveraging on the current global trade agreements.
The regional economic bloc also believes that establishment of governance structures could also contribute to minerals development.
In a statement availed to the Daily Mail recently, COMESA secretary-general Sindiso Ngwenya said sound institutional frameworks will enable the region’s national and sub-national governments to have a say in decisions regarding the use of the resources located in their territories.
The region’s mining industry is dominated by Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.
Mr Ngwenya said this at the recently held Africa Down Under (ADU) conference on mining, which took place in Australia from September 6 to 8.
ADU is an annual event aimed at raising awareness of Australia’s interests in African mining and energy and is attended by governments, investors, mining service industry, suppliers and mining consultants.
“Good governance underlines the sustainable exploitation of mineral resources.
“Harmonisation of national and regional mining policies will thus underpin sustainable and broad-based socio-economic development in the African region for the benefit of all the citizens,” he said.
Mr Ngwenya said current surge in exploration and mining in the region also indicates that COMESA countries have tremendous potential for mineral deposits.
He also noted that more types of mineral resources can be fully tapped as member countries adopt the mining vision of Africa.
COMESA also highlighted the need for countries to also play a key role in proactively regulating the conditions for investments to secure the long-term development of their nations.
“While improved governance of institutions is critical at sector level, COMESA national governments’ forging optimal partnerships in building spatial linkages for economic diversification can have a multiplier effect on development outcomes, particularly in its landlocked low-income economies,” he said.