JUSTICE Minister Wynter Kabimba says Zambia has learnt valuable lessons from the mistakes made in trying to develop her extractive industry.
Mr Kabimba said Zambia had continued to develop its mining sector and stood ready to share experiences with countries like Malawi.
Malawi’s mining sector has in the last six years taken off with several companies operating and prospecting for minerals countrywide, an effort aimed at diversifying from the economic mainstay, agriculture.
Mr Kabimba said in Lilongwe yesterday, when he paid a courtesy call on Malawi’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Fahad Assani, that Zambia was currently reviewing its Mining and Minerals Development Act to tighten it and make amends in several areas to ensure that the people benefitted from their natural resources.
He called for enhanced bilateral engagement between Zambia and Malawi, saying the two countries could benefit a lot from each other’s experiences in various areas instead of relying on outsiders to dictate the direction of the development process.
“The African continent is the only continent that is rich in natural resources but poor in human indices. It is a big contradiction and that is the reason why we should be collaborating more and more.
“That is the reason why we should be sharing experiences bilaterally instead of leaving it to the outsiders to come and tell us how we should do it,” Mr Kabimba said.
In a statement released by First Secretary for Press at the Zambia High Commission in Malawi Chansa Kabwela, Mr Kabimba said African countries should share experiences and learn from the mistakes of others in the various areas of development instead of reinventing the wheel.
In response, Mr Assani said Malawi was keen to learn from Zambia as it worked towards exploiting its mineral resources to ensure that they benefit the people.
He said Malawi had several minerals and deposits of oil and gas and was keen to ensure that it entered into contract with investors which would be in the interest of the local people.
“We want to go into these contracts which you have had before so that from our resources Malawians can benefit more than anybody else.
“We need to learn from our brothers and sisters so that we make good decisions that will benefit the people,” he said.
Mr Kabimba, who is the ruling Patriotic Front party secretary general, also invited Malawi’s ruling political party, the People’s Party, to join the Council of African Political Parties which he currently heads.
He told Mr Assani that the Council, which was formed in 2013 in Khartoum, Sudan, with 45 political parties, was a good platform for promoting the broader African political, social and economic agenda.
The Council, which has held successive meetings, is scheduled to have a tripartite meeting in China with the Council of Latin American and Caribbean Political Parties and the International Council of Asian Political Parties aimed at identifying areas of cooperation.
Source: Times of Zambia