They are small-scale miners, not Jerabos – HH
By NATION REPORTER
THE United Party for National Development (UPND) government is transforming the small scale and artisanal mining sector from the demeaning title of Jerabos (illegal miners) to an environment where they will be able to obtain mining licences and engage in legal mining activities, President Hakainde Hichilema has said.
President Hichilema has said for a long time, small scale miners had been demeaned as illegal miners but government was turning the tide around and empowering the small scale miners most of whom were youths so that they could engage in formal mining.
At a meeting with Ali Rashed Alrashdi, the International Holding Company (IHC) Board Chairman, President Hichilema said the UPND government was assisting the small scale miners with start-up capital and equipment as well as provide ready market for their closer to their areas of operations.
“We are transforming our small or artisanal mining sector from the demeaning situation the where they were being labelled illegal miners (jerabos) to an environment where they can obtain licences, assisted with some capital and equipment and provide ready market for them within the vicinity of their operations,” President Hichilema said.
Announcing the meeting with Ali Rashed Alrashdi who is the International Holding Company (IHC) Board Chairman, President Hichilema said IHC was one of the Middle East and Africa’s large conglomerates that invests in diversified global sectors.
The President said during the meeting, the two discussed ways in which Zambian citizens involved in small-scale mining sector could be properly be organised and benefit from our mineral resources of the country.
The head of State said he shared ideas on the need to set up mineral processing plants and value addition facilities around small scale mining and avoid a situation where investors extract soil and export it in raw form.
“We further discussed the need for joint ventures as the only way foreign companies can transfer knowledge and skills to our citizens. This will enhance job creation and exploitation of opportunities.
We look forward to the actualisation of more of such engagements and projects,” President Hichilema said.
And President Hichilema yesterday held a meeting with Hussain AlNowais, the Chairman of AMEA Power Company, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) based Independent Power Producer (IPP).
The President said he welcome the interest shown by many entities from the UAE to invest in renewable energy projects in Zambia.
“We welcome AMEA Power Company’s intentions to engage technocrats to carry out feasibility studies and invest in renewable energy our country. We are determined to accelerate the development of the power industry to alleviate electricity challenges being faced currently. Our efforts to aggressively address rigidities in the energy sector is bearing fruits going by the interest shown by both local and international entities willing to come and partner with Zambians,” President Hichilema said.