3 July 2012

Africa: Continent Urged to Join Forces in Extractive Industries

IT is important for African countries to collaborate on extractive industries and other economic development programmes to reduce costs and time of project implementation, Mines Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma has said.

Mr Yaluma said it was vital for African countries to learn from each other and work together on economic development programmes to enhance growth.

He said in Lusaka that what Ethiopia had done to visit the country to learn on how Zambia implemented the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) should be encouraged for all African countries .

"This collaboration should not only be confined to EITI programmes alone but should be extended to all other areas of development so that we do not reinvent the wheel. This kind of collaboration can have a positive impact in reducing costs, time and rate of projects implementation," Mr Yaluma said.

The minister said with regard to the extractive industries, EITI board has approved Zambia's request to undergo a secretariat review using the 2009 reconciliation report which would be used by the International EITI board for assessment for compliance.

He said the Government was committed to the implementation of the EITI saying Zambia's candidature had been extended for 18 months up to February 2013.

"The Government of Zambia is playing a big role in the implementation of the EITI by ensuring that Government contributions to EITI was included and honoured in the Budget.

"The achievement is also enhanced by commitment and hard work of the Zambia EITI council and the secretariat and ability to meet EITI deadlines," he said.

Mr Yaluma said the EITI was in line with the policy of the Government to fight corruption and ensure Zambians maximised the benefits from the natural resources.

He said by doing so EITTI would create a conducive environment for continued investments in the mining sector.

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