Stanbic Bank Zambia has emphasized need to ensure the country’s mineral wealth and the mining sector are not neglected, while pushing for economic diversification.
The bank said economic diversification should not prevent the local economy from exploiting its mineral wealth.
Speaking during the latest Stanbic Anakazi Online Conversations webinar, Stanbic Bank Zambia Client Coverage, Mining and Metals Manager Namakuka Sichone noted that mining’s significance to the local economy need not be overshadowed by the country’s diversification agenda.
“In as much as we should strive to reduce our over-dependence on the extractive industry on account of its high volatility in the context of fluctuating mineral prices, there is need for government and other stakeholders to increase their investment in the sector if the country is to enjoy maximum benefit from its vast mineral wealth and reach its development targets,” Sichone said.
In the last decade, Stanbic Bank has invested over US$3billion in the extractive industry with the aim of stimulating growth in all areas i.e. mining investment, supply chain and community development.
And Zambia Chamber of Mines President Goodwell Mateyo said that for Zambia to realise its development goals, there was urgent need to translate the country’s mineral resources into wealth to compliment investment in other growth sectors.
Mateyo noted that the world was on the verge of a fourth industrial revolution that would spark fresh interest in Zambia’s mineral resources.
He however, warned that the country could miss out if investments in the extractive industry were delayed.
“Due to the industry’s long-term nature, we need to start implementing measures to prop it up as soon as possible if we are to benefit from the fourth industrial revolution which is just on the horizon. Mining investments have a long maturity period; taking years, sometimes decades before an investor can see a return.”
“We have the mineral reserves, what is needed is adequate investment to turn those reserves into tangible wealth. But to stimulate investment, we need to have a conducive economic environment – which has unfortunately been hit hard by the current pandemic.”