Lilongwe — Government has said mining is one of the sectors it has identified as having great potential in transforming the micro-economic environment of the country.
Chief Mining Engineer, who is also Head of Oil and Gas Section, Cassius Chiwambo, said mining issues have taken centre stage in most discussions in the country for a long time and said government was now working to fulfill expectations in that area.
He was speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA).
"For quite a long time, government has been relying much on agriculture, but we know and we have all seen what agriculture is doing currently in terms of what Malawi as a country is benefiting.
"Right now, we are in an era where we would wish to look at other avenues which can help the country move from being a developing country to at least a country which would one day become a developed nation through its mineral environment," said Chiwambo.
He said after the comprehensive airborne dual physical survey, though at present the report of the geological mapping exercise is not ready, Malawi has shown it has indeed a number of very important and strategic mineral reserves and resources.
These, he said, can woo legitimate investors who will come to invest and make sure that a 50-50 win approach is attained.
Chiwambo said, "Without the support of the people, we know government alone cannot do everything, but I wish the whole nation should assist to improve our economy."
He cited the media as an important sector which he said should be reporting basing on full understanding of what extractive industry or mining sector is all about.
"We want to encourage the media to report things which are factual and that will indeed make them take a leading role or contribute to the development of the mining sector.
"It might be negative yes, but sometimes even through those negative reports, as government we analyze them and see how we can intervene in order to make sure that mistakes are not repeated," explained Chiwambo.
He further said as a department (of Mining), they want to see people have adequate knowledge of the mining sector and realise that the mining sector has huge potential to change the economy of this country.
Chiwambo said the potential can only increase if the right information is disseminated to the people for them to make constructive contribution to government's decision to invest in the mining sector.
He said if there is resistance, they will simply approach government to intervene on the issue.
"As government, we will not hesitate, we will intervene immediately because at the end of the day we don't kill the sector but promote it together with the people so that indeed we generate the expected revenues from the sector," he explained.