UNDP Zambia country director Mandisa Mashologu has noted that artisans and small-scale miners are deprived of knowledge and skills to realize their full potential to create wealth.
And Mashologu says two thirds of the investments required in urban infrastructure up to 2050 are yet to be made.
In a speech read on her behalf by Ian Milimo, who is the UNDP Zambia assistant Resident Representative in-charge of Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development Goals, during the Regional Training Workshop on Enterprise Skills, Market Analysis, Investment Promotion and Value Addition of Development Minerals, Mashologu said the development of minerals have a close link to the creation of more jobs.
“I therefore, applaud the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme, along with all its partners, the EU and UNDP for mobilising efforts to
address these challenges through this capacity development platform on Enterprise Skills, Market Analysis, Investment Promotion and Value
Addition of Development Minerals…arising from the country enterprise initiatives, it is further worth noting that 228 business plans were
developed by Small Scale Miners. These efforts resonate well with UNDP’s ambition to contribute towards meeting the SDGs agenda by
including and capacitating beneficiaries as key players to define innovative ways of doing business and with greater emphasis on
empowering the poorest to leave no one behind,” Mashologu said.
“The Artisanal and Small-Scale miners are amongst segments of our society who are deprived of knowledge and skills to realize their full
potential to create wealth and rightly deserve to be assisted. Therefore, the many good initiatives to be shared at this three-day enterprise training workshop should help expand your will and initiative to rise to this challenge of meeting the needs of those left furthest behind.”
She added that Zambia, like many other African Caribbean and Pacific States, minerals haf a greater impact on poverty reduction due to the dominance of SMEs in the sector.
Mashologu revealed that the findings of the African Economic Outlook report prepared jointly by AfDB, OECD and UNDP, two thirds of the
investments required in urban infrastructure up to 2050 are yet to be made.
“…and with adequate policies, these investments can increase agricultural productivity, stimulate industrialization, and high value-added services, and ensure that no one will be left behind, starting with the furthest,” Mashologu said.
She said in Zambia, the construction sector had been growing at an average rate of 17.5 per cent per annum over the past 12 years.
Mashologu said there is need to build the capacity of SMEs so that they are not left behind in participating in this and related value chains.
“Investing in sustainable and resilient infrastructure therefore is a pre-requisite for achieving the SDGs and addressing climate change. Such investments will not only help boost economic growth, increase demand, and create jobs in the short-term, but also lay the foundation for long-term growth and increase resilience of societies to climate shocks and other disasters,” she said.
Over 500 people from more than 70 countries have assembled in Livingstone for the International Conference on Artisanal and Small-scale Mining and Quarrying (ASM18) to chart a vision for the future.
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is expected to officially open the conference tomorrow.