Enhancing mining’s contribution to the Zambian economy and society

Representatives from government, industry, civil society and donor organizations are meeting in Lusaka, Zambia this week to discuss mining’s contribution to Zambia.

On 10 April, ICMM launched its new report Enhancing mining’s contribution to the Zambian economy and society at an event hosted by the Chamber of Mines of Zambia. The launch event was opened by the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development, Honourable Christopher Yaluma who introduced the Guest of Honour and keynote speaker, Zambia’s Vice President, Honourable Dr Guy Scott.

The report provides facts around mining’s social and economic contributions at both the macroeconomic and local level in Zambia’s two main mining provinces. It also identifies areas where, through collaboration, mining’s contribution to the economy and society of Zambia can be enhanced.

Participants at the launch event discussed four key findings in the report, and the steps that are already being taken to address some of them:

  1. Data quality and accessibility. The quality of the data on which both government and the mines rely on to guide decisions is poor. The Chamber of Mines of Zambia and government agencies are committed to work together to address this problem, and work is in progress to develop a single data template for all to use.
  2. Local content and jobs. Mines are starting to run supplier development programs and government and donor efforts are underway to address supply constraints including local industrial capability and the enabling business environment. However, there is an opportunity for all parties to align and focus their activities as well as addressing the skills shortage.
  3. Social investment and partnerships. Mines spend a lot on social investments, but with mixed results. There is a need for more systematic monitoring of the outcomes of social investments, better co-ordination between mining companies and other stakeholders, as well as improved alignment of social investment programs with district-level development plans and poverty reduction strategies.
  4. A competitive world-class mining industry. There is a need to build mutual confidence in the sector by increasing stability, transparency and accountability. The data in the report implies that the competitive position of the Zambian mining industry is fragile. This, plus the results of the Zambia Revenue Authority’s mineral value chain monitoring project, will allow closer examination of the issues and better dialogue.

The full report and InBrief summary can be downloaded from ICMM’s website (www.icmm.com/publications/enhancing-minings-contribution-to-zambia). Since the report went to print, the team has received data updates on two of the macroeconomic indicators discussed in the report: mining’s contribution to GDP and to government revenue. These updates are provided in a separate data sheet.

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