The Targeted Reviews on Mineral Resources and Tourism in Zambia were officially launched on Monday November 11, 2019 at the Ministry of Justice by the Permanent Secretaries (PSs) Mrs. Thandiwe Daka Oteng and Mr. Andrew Nkunika. They warmly welcomed the APRM delegation led by the Panel Member Bishop Don Dinis Salomão Sengulane on behalf of H.E Given Lubinda, Minister of Justice and APRM focal point.
Mrs. Daka Oteng declared that Zambia is the second country showing a strong interest in Targeted Reviews. As one of the pioneers in Targeted Reviews and indicated that Zambia will be able to offer guidance on the conduct of subsequent reviews. She expressed her gratitude to Prof Eddy Maloka and Panel Members for their leadership. Furthermore, PS Daka Oteng indicated that the APRM delegation should consider Zambia a second home while carrying out the necessary research for the reports which would be presented at the upcoming APR forum in February 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Panel Member and Head of the Targeted Review delegation, Bishop Don Dinis Salomão Sengulane said that Zambia was among the pioneers that acceded to the Africa Peer Review Mechanism on 22 January 2006, a few years after the establishment of the mechanism.
He further said that, the early accession to the mechanism shows the determination and commitment of the Zambian government to home grown African institutions. Furthermore, the Bishop underlined that by acceding to the APRM, the Zambian government demonstrated its intention to do away with the traditional practice of being reviewed by non-African institutions.
The issue of Targeted Reviews, Bishop Sengulane lauded the Zambian government for opening its doors to the Targeted Review team for the good cause of realizing a prosperous Zambia that it is characterized by transparency, respect for the rule of law, democracy, sustainable human and economic development, where poverty, underdevelopment, conflicts and misery are totally eradicated.
In addition, Bishop Sengulane aims for a new Zambia full of hope and a bright future, where the youth and women are the main driving forces in achieving prosperity and development. Indeed, a country where there is no corruption and none of its citizens would feel left out of the benefits drawn from its vast and abundant natural resources.
Following the meeting with the PSs, discussions were held with the Zambia Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, the Chamber of Mines and the Zambia Tourism Agency. Both tourism and mineral resources contribute significantly to the Zambian economy.
During these informative discussions, the challenges and strengths that Zambia faces in the two sectors were pointed out. The fact that the various stakeholders were forthcoming and open to questions indicates Zambia’s commitment to using the APRM Targeted Reviews to improve governance and raise the standards of living of all Zambians.
On 12 November 2019, The Targeted Review team paid a courtesy visit to the Acting Minister of Justice (APRM Focal Point) who is Minster of Livestock and Fisheries Prof. Hon. Nkandu Luo. The minister expressed her satisfaction to see the APRM Targeted Review team embark on this important exercise of reviewing Zambia on Mineral Resources and Tourism.
The Minister underlined that the choice of these themes demonstrates the importance of these sectors to the Zambian economy and therefore, she is looking forward to a satisfactory conclusion of the review with few, concise and clear recommendations to be implemented and to contribute towards diversification of the economy and attain socio-economic development.
The delegation continued with the consultations where it met with a delegation of “Federation of small Scale Mining Association” whose members include “Women Association in Mining. The women association in mining gave a historical background on the rationale behind the women involvement in the mining sector and the different categories of mining women participate in throughout the country.
They emphasized the importance of increased capacity development programme in the small scale mining sector and formalization of the particular sub-sector. The association of small-scale mining emphasized that mining is the backbone of the Zambian economy as everything evolves around mining.
However, both women in mining and small-scale mining depicted the lack of access to the market, finances, lack of equipment, high taxation and high cost of geological reports as main challenges facing small scale mining sector. Formalization of the mining sector is also a big problem given that the office for formalization is found only in Lusaka, but the government is trying to bring that service to the region.
The delegation ended the day’s consultation with officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Arts. The officials gave an overview of the Ministry on the structure and different coordinating agencies that work under the ministry.
Several questions on development plan with regards to the tourism sector were raised as well as challenges in terms of visa arrangement, access to the country as it lacks a national carrier and Internal challenges to get through various tourism destinations were underlined as well.