16 November 2012

Zambia: Harness Land Resource - Minister

AFRICA needs to harness land resources and ensure accurate information for use in national social-economic development on the continent, Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Wybur Simuusa has said.

Mr Simuusa said it was essential that land was harnessed to promote social-economic development on the continent.

He said this in Livingstone yesterday in a speech read for him by his deputy Elijah Muchima during the 46th session of the governing council of the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD).

RCMRD was established in Kenya in 1975 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the then Organisation of African Unity, today African Union (AU).

It is an inter-governmental organisation and currently has 18 contracting member States in the Eastern and Southern Africa Regions.

Mr Simuusa said his ministry had continued to face challenges of surveying and mapping of land resources to support the ever increasing demand arising from development activities.

"This has had negative effects especially with limitations in resources, skilled manpower and institutional capacity to adequately respond to the ever increasing demand to support national development," he said.The minister said Zambia values the relationship between member States and RCMRD in enhancing integrated responsiveness in realising the development.

Mr Simuusa said RCMRD should be adequately utilised by all of the member States for the betterment of the people in the region.

RCMRD governing council chairperson Mduduzi Shabaiye said more than 1000 people had been trained by the centre from the member States.

He said member States should ensure that their mapping and surveying included aspect of climate change in their respective countries.

Mr Shabaiye urged member States to contribute to subscription so that they could make the centre grow and be able to provide more training to the people.

"As the biggest benefit is that of sharing experiences, we want the centre to grow and excel in excellence in mapping and surveying and we want them to enjoy the resources from the centres," he said.

RCMRD member States are Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

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