Colloquium on EITI Implementation in The Great Lakes Region
The Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) in partnership with ICGLR – Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre for Democracy and Good Governance the technical and scientific organ of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region in partnership with organised a
The Colloquium was officially opened by the Hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Mr. Richard Musukwa. Participants included experts on natural resource governance from the Zambian Government, Civil Society, Private Sector and bilateral and multilateral organizations as well as ICGLR Member States Diplomatic Missions accredited to Zambia. The Zambia ICGLR National Coordination Mechanism was represented by the Acting National Coordinator, Mr. Hassan Banda. The Colloquium anonymously agreed that Africa was rich in mineral resources and they have contributed to the transformation of the continent and its people’s welfare. All the speakers echoed SARW’s lamentation for the stakeholders to work on optimising these depleting mineral resources by working as one people.
In his address to the meeting the Zambia’s Minister of Mines and Minerals Development reaffirmed Government’s commitment towards being proactive in the implementation of good governance in the management of natural resources, in order to create wealth and employment in the country, as exhibited by the award of being a pioneer of EITI at the Global Conference in Paris in June 2019.
Minister of Mines and Natural Resources Richard Musukwa said transparency and good management of natural resources have ripple effect on the lives of the people.
The Minister acknowledged that “There is a mismatch that despite many countries in Africa being endowed with natural resources, people still live in poverty and unemployment, which shows that there is little benefaction from the natural resources,” he said.
Mr Musukwa pledged and emphasised that government will ensure that corruption in the mining sector is fought with vigour and without favour, in order for people to fully benefit from the yields of natural resources.
In his welcoming remarks Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) Director Dr. Claud Kabemba said that countries in the Great Lakes region need to device mechanisms that will create a reservoir of wealth from natural resources that are depleting.
Dr. Claude stressed that Africa should emulate continents like the United Kingdom that have created endless wealth from the natural resources, with countries like China and Russia following suit, to create their own wealth.
And International Conference of the Great Lakes Region Levy Mwanawasa Centre for Democracy and Good Governance Executive Director Frank Okuthe lamented that the Great Lakes Region is rich in mineral wealth, but unemployment and poverty levels are high.
The following topics were presented by experts:
- High Level Panel Discussion- “Transparency and Accountability in the Extractive Industry – A factor for Economic transformation and Job creation in Zambia and the Great Lakes Region’’;
- Overview of implementation of EITI in the Great Lakes Region;
- Status of EITI implementation in Zambia.
The expert presentations were followed by animated discussions and exchange from the participants and the Launch of the Research Report on the Status of EITI implementation in ICGLR Member States that had been undertaken by LMRC and SARW.
After discussions, participants made the following recommendations concerning the promotion of transparency and accountability in the governance of the Natural Resource Sector:
- Re-evaluate rent and tax policies to ensure optimal benefits in the natural resource sector.
- Mainstream transparency and accountability throughout the value-chain in the natural resource governance sector.
- Accelerate the development of regulations to operationalise the disclosure of ownership and licenses to ensure compliance to EITI standards.
- Develop linkages between the Mining sector with other sectors for economic development.
- Ensure Local content emphasising on skills development to facilitate value addition by investing in education particularly science, engineering, technology and mathematics.
- Provide incentives and enabling policies to local companies to enable investment in the manufacturing industry.
- Engage stakeholders to ensure that natural resource exploitation benefits local communities.
- Hasten the formulation and enactment of the Transparency and Accountability Law to cater for all sectors of the economy.