is the key to developing Zambia’s gemstone sector and ensuring the nation’s
industry is a leading player on the world’s stage.
for open dialogue between industry and the government, and full disclosure of
revenues and profits and well as export quantities and values was a central
theme during the two-day Zambian Emerald Summit in Lusaka this week.
disclosure would ensure a level playing field for miners, and clamp down on the
illegal trade in stolen stones and unlicensed extraction, explained Sean
Gilbertson, Executive Director of London-listed Gemfields plc, which was
principal sponsor of the summit and owns 75 percent of the Kagem mine in Lufwanyama
in partnership with the Zambian government.
is the key to this industry and its development. We would appeal to government
to make available the data so that everyone can see what is going on. You
cannot manage what you cannot measure. We have to have the information to make
the right decisions,” said Gilbertson
He also called
for a stable regulatory environment to enable the sector to offer the market a
consistent, reliable and secure supply.
sentiment echoed that on the first day of the event from Deputy Minister of
Finance Keith Mukata, who said: “The growing amount of lively public debate on
the benefits of natural resources to Zambia as a country and the local
communities in particular, where these resources are found, calls for striking
the right balance between harnessing a conducive environment for private
investment to thrive in and maximising benefits to our people and posterity. We
cannot over-emphasise the point that an enabling business environment should be
underpinned by interventions that will consolidate social, political and
macroeconomic stability so that there is no impediment to business.”
gemstone sub-sector in Zambia has for a long time now remained shrouded in
mystery and secrecy. This unfortunate scenario has been exacerbated by the
wanton propensity not to declare correct volumes of production and sale values
by some unscrupulous miners, as well as illegal buying and exporting of
gemstones. It is our inescapable duty however, to demystify the issues at play
in the gemstone sector and I wish to assure this gathering and the nation that
the Patriotic Front government remains committed to putting in place specific
measures aimed at ensuring that Zambia reaps maximum benefits from our gemstone
endowment,” he added.
only with increased investment in our economy that more jobs can be created so
that poverty is squarely fought,” said Mukata. “The government is committed to
providing policy clarity, stability and predictability in the gemstone sector
so that we anchor confidence in the Zambian gemstone industry.”
100 delegates is attending the two-day Zambian Emerald Summit, which is aimed
at facilitating meaningful dialogue between key stakeholders in the emerald
industry and providing an opportunity for industry outsiders to better
understand the emerald sector.
industry stakeholders, international gemstone and policy experts, and
government representatives met to explore how the Zambian emerald sector can
best be developed into a world leader whilst ensuring that the relevant
revenues and profits accrue within Zambia.