Stakeholders in the mining and extractive industry have hailed President Lazarus Chakwera’s political will to improve the sector.
In his National Address on Sunday evening, Chakwera said his administration was determined to restructure the country’s monolithic agro-based economy and use mining as a catalyst for restructuring the economy.
He lamented that, for a long time, Malawi’s economy has depended largely on rain-fed agriculture, with the mining sector contributing less than three percent to the country’s revenue collection drive.
Speaking recently, Natural Resources Justice Network (NRJN) National Coordinator Kennedy Rashid said the sector has potential to contribute 20 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2063.
But Rashid lamented delays by experts at the Ministry of Mining to design new regulations to guide the mining and extractive industry, stressing this is critical in reviving the sector.
“If we continue using the existing regulations, Malawi stands to lose again. Our mining and extractive industry will remain at the mercy of the mining firms.
“That is why we always feel happy to hear the President talk about this because this shows he is determined to turnaround the activities of this sector to ensure we reap enough from it,” he said.
NRJN Board Member Mike Banda said stakeholders intended to take advantage of the new administration to revive and sanitise the sector, observing that Chakwera has been mentioning it often.
Meanwhile, Mining Ministry Principal Secretary Joseph Mkandawire has said that the new mining regulations have been sent for vetting at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.