May 18, 2021

Chakwera Says Malawi is a Mineral Rich Country

President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has become the first Malawian president to openly admit that Malawi is a mineral rich country, for decades, it has lacked patriotism, leadership, discipline, organization and collaboration to bend natural resources under its feet with the country’s human resources to create the developmental riches that will last and serve generations saying the era of economic mismanagement is over.

Dr. Chakwera said with the help, cooperation and trust of all Malawians, Government will turn the country’s God-given resources into roads, schools, hospitals, parks, sports facilities, bridges, universities, pavements, apartment blocks, hotels, and excellent services over the next two decades.

He said mining has the potential to be long-term game-changer for Malawi economy saying for a long time, Malawi economy has depended largely on rain-fed agriculture with the mining sector contributing little to the country’s revenue, less than  three percent.

Speaking during his second national address on Government policies delivered at Mtunthama State Lodge in Lilongwe on Sunday evening, Dr. Chakwera said it is important for Malawi as a nation to be the ones to determine the right thing to do and to do things right with their own mining sector saying failing to do so would result in a repeat of the negative exploitation past administrations allowed to happen at places like the Kayerekera Uranium mine in Karonga.

Dr. Chakwera said his administration’s top priority when he took office ten months ago was to bring order and sanity to the mining sector saying his last order of business was to establish the Ministry of Mining as a standalone Ministry that would formulate policies and regulates to organize the sector.

He said in the June sitting of Parliament, his Administration will present a Bill to establish a Mining Regulatory Authority which will be receiving and processing mineral tenement, applications, granting withholding, suspending, and revoking licenses saying in readiness for the regulatory work to be done by the Mining Authority, the Ministry of Mining has already engaged the Malawi Police Service on the best way the two institutions can work together in curbing illegal mining and smuggling of the country’s minerals.

…”Government has established the National Mining Company, a State-owned enterprise that will promote the development of the mining sector and operationalization of the Central Banks’s function as a structured market for Malawi’s minerals, the Reserve Bank of Malawi has already started implementing my directive to start buying gold from artisanal miners as mandated by its Act of Parliament of 2018…,’’ said President Dr. Chakwera.

The President said in the 2021/2022 financial year, his administration will fund the development of infrastructure and the deployment of experts critical to the management of the mining sector, saying this will complete the construction and equipping of a state-of-the-art laboratory complex at Area 4 in Lilongwe which is estimated to cost MK820 Million.

He said he has since instructed the Secretary to the President and Cabinet to work with the Ministry of Mining to expedite the recruitment of mining experts who are just idle committing his administration to the training of additional expertise for this sector.

By Vincent Gunde

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