By JACKSON MAPAPAYI
THE Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) with support from Oxfam is implementing a campaign dubbed ‘Copper for Development’ to diversify and grow other key sectors.
Civil Society Poverty Observatory Group (CS.POG) and Fighting Inequality Alliance are also involved in the initiative.
According to the CSPR North western province coordinator, Haggai Nymbe, the campaign was being initiated under Oxfam Zambia inequality campaign called ‘Kulinganiza’
Mr Nyambe stated that the campaign would be anchored on promoting the use of copper revenues to diversify and grow other key sectors such as agriculture, health, education, and energy.
According to Mr Nyambe, this would ultimately ensure full contribution and integration of the mining sector into Zambia’s national development agenda.
He said his organization would conduct a high level multi-stakeholders lobby meeting in Solwezi district where copper for development is being implemented with the traditional leaders, government departments, local authorities, CSOs, media, community members and mining companies.
“This will be an interactive lobby meeting between duty bearers and citizens and will provide an opportunity for traditional leaders, communities, government, local authorities, CSO, media and the mining companies to interact.
“Stakeholders will air their views regarding the use of revenues from the country’s mineral wealth and also put up a development agenda through a communique to our members of parliament around Mineral revenue sharing mechanism,” Mr Nyambe said.
Mr Nyambe said the aim of the high-level lobby meeting was steering public debate around the use of copper revenue and to ring fence part of the revenue from copper mining for reinvestment in the key sectors such as health, education, and agriculture.
“The rationale behind this activity is to ensure we come up with submission and position paper and submit through our chiefs to the Members of Parliament.
“We will ensure that we gain more voices to support the copper for development agenda and increase on public demand for better services from the revenue from the copper as well as continue our lobbying on the MRSM act to be put back in the Mines and Mineral act,” he said.
Mr Nyambe said the CSPR would take advantage of the newly-elected MPs whom it has been engaging with already.
“So that as they open parliament, they should carry the position paper which will set up our platform for further engagement and follow up on how they will influence policy and use their powers to ensure that revenues from mines goes to developmental projects and not to pay debts,” he explained.