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Oxfam urges value addition in mining

Oxfam Malawi has urged women in the small scale and artisanal mining sector to add value to their products to earn more. Oxfam Malawi Deputy Country Director, Elias Khozombwe, was speaking at Mponela in Dowa on Friday during the graduation of 15 women in gemstone cutting and polishing.

Khozombwe said Malawi is losing a lot of revenue through exporting minerals that are not value added.

“As Oxfam, we decided to organise this training because we saw the interest that these women have. We have been working with them for four years.

“We have been training them but most of the training has been theory. So we wanted to give them practical training,” Khozombwe said.

The training saw the women producing items such as necklaces and rings from rocks. Small and Medium Enterprise Development Institute (Smedi) Chief Executive Officer, Roderick Chattaika, said value addition is critical for the development of small businesses.

Chattaika said his institution is committed to helping Malawians realise more earning from their enterprises through value addition.

“By adding value, we are promoting job creation within Malawi. When we export raw materials, we are creating jobs in other countries,” Chattaika said.

Mining and quarrying activities remain subdued in Malawi contributing less than 10 percent to the GDP.

Growth in the mining and quarrying industry was estimated at 3.6 percent in 2019 compared to 2.1 percent estimated for 2018. The increased growth in the industry was mainly on account of increased coal and limestone extraction at Kasikizi coal mine and Mangochi limestone mine, respectively.

According to the Reserve Bank of Malawi, the sector projected to grow further by 5.8 percent this year

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