Expectations are high that the country will start registering significant returns from the mining and extractive industries following the launch of the first ever Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) report.
The report, which was launched on Tuesday in Lilongwe, analyses trends in the sector between 2014 and 2015.
Among others, it urges the government to improve on assurance of data reports by enforcing compliance among reporting entities. The entities are required to provide copies of their reporting templates singed by an authorised officer and certified by an external auditor or auditor general for government entities.
It also notes that government entities and extractive companies, during the period under review, could not submit their reporting templates on time but the templates were also not adequately prepared.
However, stakeholders that were present during the launch of the report lauded the progress made.
Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Aggrey Masi, said the development is very important in addressing concerns that have been in the public domain that the country does not benefit from the minerals it posseses.
“Where we are now, it rests upon the Chamber of Mines and all stakeholders to work together and to see to it that everything is done according to the road map so that this initiative is successful in the end,” Masi said.
President of the Chamber of Mines and Energy, Dean Lungu, described the launch of the report as a milestone in ensuring that the mining and extractive industries contributes significantly towards the country’s economy.
“This is going to be a roadmap for Malawi’s extractive industry. We have been looking for something like this for quite some time because it will promote good governance in terms of managing our resources,” Lungu said.
Commenting on the same, Chairperson of the Natural Resources Justice Network, Cossam Munthali, stressed the need for the stakeholders to be sober and vigilant in implementing recommendations outlined in the report stressing that launching the report will be meaningless if it will not bring any change in the sector.