Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
THE Mining Industry Association of Southern Africa (MIASA), an association of Chamber of Mines in the Sadc region has elected Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe’s chief executive Isaac Kwesu as president of the association.
Mr Kwesu takes over from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Simon Tuma-Waku and will be deputised by Mr Roger Baxter of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa.
Kwesu was elected at MIASA’s biennial meeting which was held in Victoria Falls and was immediately tasked to spearhead efforts to create the Association of Chamber of Mines in Africa to ensure that there is one voice for the continent’s mining industry.
The meeting also noted the continued enactment of legislation that hamper investment in the region.
“At its meeting MIASA noted the challenges of legislation that the mining industry is facing in the Sadc region that have a negative impact on direct investment into mining as well as lower than expected growth of the mining sector as a whole,” said MIASA in a statement released on Tuesday.
“To address some of these challenges, MIASA has decided to champion the challenge of dealing with trust deficit between governments and the mining industry in the region as part of its lobbying role,” reads the statement.
Zimbabwe is this year working on growing the local mining industry from a $2 billion export sector to a $3 billion export sector and Government has already released 1 million hectares of mineral rich deposits as part of that efforts.
With diamond production soaring at Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company’s Chiadzwa fields, Zimbabwe is sure to surpass last year’s return.
The company had, as at July 19, already stockpiled over 1, 1 million carats of the precious stones a figure that surpasses last year’s annual haul of 961 537 carats. The regional board will also be seized with beneficiation calls from host governments who are pushing so as to maximise on host country’s benefits.
During his tenure as African Union chairman, President Mugabe decried the continued export of mineral ores and spoke of the need to beneficiate minerals and advance science and technology in Africa.
Co-chairing the 34th Session of the Nepad Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2016 President Mugabe said, “Africa has enormous mineral resources which have not been adequately harnessed for the sustainable development of the continent.
“Failure to exploit these mineral endowments is attributable to lack of appropriate knowledge and skills, technology and infrastructure, among others. As a result, Africa’s minerals are exported in their raw form,” he said.
It’s a challenge that awaits the newly elected Mr Kwesu and MIASA.