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‘Set precise investment agreements to monitor, evaluate mining industry’

NANCY MWAPE , Livingstone
DEPUTY Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Richard Musukwa has urged African countries to urgently put in place right investment agreements to monitor and evaluate the mining industry to maximise benefits from the mineral resource which is a wasting asset.
Mr Musukwa said it is important for governments to maintain a favourable environment so that investment is not stifled.
“There is need to use our mineral resources in the manner that will transform our economies and improve living standards of our people.
“African mineral resource countries need to hasten the implementation of the African mining vision to enhance benefits for the people,” he said.
Mr Musukwa said this on Saturday when he opened the first extraordinary session of African Union (AU) conference of senior officials responsible for mineral resources development which has attracted 25 countries.
He said mining provides numerous upstream and downstream linkages which have not been fully exploited.
“The environment is conducive for Africa to harness benefits from minerals. Having a mineral resources development centre sustained from own resources will greatly assist member states achieve the desired goal,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, AU mining conference chairperson Eduardo Alexandre urged governments to play a leading role in regulatory oversight of environmental protection and the mining firms to also take responsibility for their activities.
Mr Alexandre said education, training and skills development programmes are essential for African institutions to address the array of challenging technical, legal and financial issues attached to mining.
“Improved administration of revenues, coordination with cadastre and clear lines of reporting and payments are essential.
“Achieving sound revenue management for mineral resources will not only impact today’s society but future generations as well,” he said.
And AU Commission (AUC) director of trade and industry Treasure Maphanga said there is need to develop a diversified and competitive African mineral industry which contributes to broad economic and social linkages.

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