HH URGED TO UNLOCK THE MINING SECTOR FULLY
….in order to restore economic growth, create jobs, business opportunities and improve living standards, charges Banda
Lusaka… Monday January 22, 2024 (SMART EAGLES)
The high global demand of minerals especially copper due to the production of electric vehicles presents a great opportunity for Zambia, the Advocates for National Development and Democracy (ANDD) has observed.
ANDD Executive Director Samuel Banda says there is a need to increase copper production output and copper export volumes to meet this growing global demand.
“As Advocates For National Development and Democracy, we are of the profound view that increasing Copper production output is not just imperative to meet global market demand but also an opportunity for Zambia to fully utilize the mining sector. The mining sector is the primary driver of Zambia’s economic engine and the route to restoring economic growth,” he said.
“Mining is the only sector that can promote social development by addressing the economic challenges the country has continued to face such as the rapid depreciation of the kwacha against major convertible currencies, high cost of basic commodities, high cost of doing business and the high rate of unemployment.”
He emphasized that economic indicators dont lie.
“Today our Kwacha is trading poorly at K26.5 against the major convertible currency USD which is unfortunately shrinking our domestic economy. From our analysis, we wish to indicate that to address these economic challenges, change our outlook from a negative trajectory to a positive one restoring economic growth, we recommend that President Hakainde Hichilema should fully unlock the mining sector and ensure that it starts functioning optimally,” he added.
“To fully unlock the mining sector it is important that our two national mining giants Konkola Copper Mine and Mopani mines starts functioning optimally. In the interest of restoring economic growth, we are appealing to President Hakainde Hichilema’s government to take advantage of Vedanta’s Resources Ltd’s good investment package and expidite the legal handing over of Konkola Copper Mines to Vedanta Resources so that Konkola Copper Mine can begin to operate optimally.”
Mr Banda indicated that President Hakainde Hichilema should also ensure that Mopani mines start operating optimally.
He said Mopani Mines needs to make a vital contribution towards restoring economic growth.
“Ultimately we want to remind President Hakainde Hichilema and his Finance Minister Honourable Situmbeko Musokotwane that it will be impossible to attain the 4.7 percent economic growth projection target and equally it will be difficult to achieve the 3 million metric tonnes copper production target per annum by 2031 if the New Dawn Government does not fully unlock the mining sector,” he indicated.
“President Hichilema needs to fully unlock the mining sector to restore economic growth, create jobs, business opportunities and improve living standards.”