THE Centre for Trade Policy and Development says Zambia can benefit more from its natural resources by ensuring transformative change of the mineral governance system.
Policy Lead on Extractive and Development Natalie Mwila stated that while agreeing that value addition to the minerals would be a key step in ensuring that there is local community beneficiation, benefits from the sector would largely depend on the governance of it, in relations to the policies.
“Further, it will be important for the ministry responsible for mining to ensure a comprehensive audit of the mineral wealth of this country so that we get value for the minerals worth. Additionally, while the government through the Zambia Revenue Authority has regulations in place now for transfer mispricing, for the country to ensure more benefits from its natural resources, it is important that these are properly implemented so that the country benefits from fair tax and avoid tax dodging by the mining investors. This can also be ensured by evaluating the two projects (MPSP &MVCMP) that were commissioned to how these have exposed Illicit Financial Flows for example,” she stated.
Mwila stated that the Zambian government will need to fully integrate the mineral sector into national development plans if the country is to foster sustainable development and enhance the sector performance.
She stated that Zambia has a national development plan but no mining sector development plan, despite the sector having many issues and expectations.
“Therefore a sector development strategy should be a high priority if the country is to benefit more from the mineral resources exploitation. It is also of great need that Zambia works with other countries mining similar minerals across the African region so as to make a suitable and uniform mechanism that favours all countries. In this cause, aligning the Zambian frameworks to initiatives such as the Publish What You Pay, African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Extractives Transparency Initiatives (EITI) will bare great benefits. Also, other initiatives like the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), the African Mining Vision (AMV) and many others that aim at monitoring the behaviour of companies and government in an effort to increase transparency and accountability will further strengthen the sense of accountability and work towards maximising benefit from the mining sector,” Mwila stated.
She stated that for local communities like Sinazongwe, Mufulira and Solwezi where mining has been taking place for some time, it would be critical for the government to ensure that there were measures to guard against exploitation of workers and local communities who suffer adverse effects such as displacements.
Mwila stated that effective consultation of all key stakeholders would ensure local interest is promoted.