By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
POLICIES that enhance mineral value addition strategies that can create linkages with other parts of the economy should be designed and implemented.
Doing this will ensure cascaded benefits to the state in form of increased revenue generation, employment creation, and technology transfer, says Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) Senior Researcher – Extractives, Webby Banda.
Mr Banda observed that Zambia did not process its minerals into higher-value output resulting in lost gains from value addition processes.
He indicated that exporting raw mineral resources meant denying the country the benefits that came with activities along a fully vertically integrated mineral value chain.
The benefits, Mr Banda said in a statement, included job creation, tax revenue generation, and spill over economic effects to other industries among others.
“Mineral resources in Zambia offer a wide range of opportunities to: build industries to supply inputs to the mining sector, produce key mineral-based feedstock’s for other sectors; and manufacture intermediate and finished products for domestic consumption that will promote local and regional economic development,” he said.
Mr Banda indicated that the African Mining Vision (AMV) recognised that mining was a key sector for a growing, diversified, competitive, and industry-based economy in Africa.
He explained that for Africa to harness these benefits, the enclave nature of mining will have to be extinguished.
“Achieving this goal means that mineral-rich countries like Zambia will need to go beyond optimising revenues collected from the mining industry, but act strategically to increase the value of the resources extracted.
“This can best be achieved by creating and strengthening the linkages between the mining sector and the rest of the economy,” Mr Banda said.