President Hichilema Concludes Engagements at Mining Indaba
By Anthony Bwalya
President Hakainde Hichilema is shortly expected back in Lusaka following his participation at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, where he delivered a keynote speech and sent a clear message to the world that Zambia is open for business to those who wish to work collaboratively on projects that will support government’s central objectives of job creation and economic turnaround.
During the trip, the President announced two landmark investments by First Quantum Minerals: $1.25 billion to expand production and extend the life of the Kansanshi Mine by 20 years and an additional $100 million investment to bring online the $250 million new Enterprise Nickel Mine.
These investments will help create and safeguard thousands of jobs, generate additional revenues and stimulate wider economic activity. It represents the largest investment commitment Zambia has seen in the past decade.
The President’s keynote address, titled ‘A New Dawn for Zambia’s Mining Sector’, set out very clearly the government’s vision for a resilient and sustainable mining industry anchored on Environmental, Social, and Governance standards. It stressed that governance of the mining sector must be transparent, consistent, predictable and fair and geared towards delivering benefits for all Zambians.
The President made clear his commitment to delivering on domestic economic empowerment and job creation without resource nationalism, noting that mining has the potential to make a much bigger contribution to the country’s economy.
And as the President noted during his keynote speech, “We will do better to cooperate than work in isolation”. In this spirit, H.E. met with President of South Africa H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa and President of Botswana H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi. The engagements were an opportunity to discuss various matters including the strengthening of trade and investment ties for the benefit of the entire region.
This kind of collaboration and idea-sharing can only benefit Zambia’s economic development. He also hailed recent initiatives such as the MoU signed with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo last month to create a joint electric battery and clean energy value chain. The President also engaged in meetings with several potential investors to discuss proposals that could deliver win-win outcomes for Zambia. This is part of the government’s approach of working collaboratively with investors and industry players to create an enabling policy environment that delivers tangible benefits to the people of Zambia.
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