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Experts reiterate calls to diversify economy

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Mining experts have reiterated the need for the government to intensify efforts to diversify the economy away from agriculture.

His sentiments follow recent trends in the mining sector, where the sector’s contribution to national revenue has been steadily growing.

A recent Malawi Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (Mweiti) report holds that if the government could place emphasis on mining, Malawi’s gross domestic product could grow by 20 percent by 2023.

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It further reveals that the sector contributed K20 billion towards national revenue during the 2017/18 financial year.

The report, however, holds that the Covid-19 pandemic poses serious threats to the growth of the industry.

“Increased growth is difficult to attain in the current situation with the largest mining project at Kayelekera still being under care and maintenance due to low global uranium prices.

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“The expected new large mining projects, namely Kanyika niobium mine in Mzimba and Mkango rare earth mine in Mulanje are likely to delay their commissioning dates due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement reads.

In an interview, Malunga said there was need for government to increase resources towards managing the sector.

“Government should foster an improvement in the operations of the Department of Mines in terms of inspectorate services; so, government should make sure that the department has more financial resources and mobility,” Malunga said.

In a separate interview, Chairperson of the Natural Resources Justice Network Kossam Munthali said the country lacks vision in developing the mining sector.

A previous geo-mapping survey revealed that Malawi is endowed with mineral deposits such as phosphates and bauxite, among others.

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