Chakwera to preside over Mining Investment Forum

By Andrew Mkonda

Ministry of Mining says all is set for the country to host the first ever Mining Investment Forum which will give the country an opportunity to showcase and promote Malawi’s mining sector.

A press statement released by the Ministry of Mining signed by its Principal Secretary, Dr Joseph Mkandawire, says the event will take place from 23rd to 24th April, 2024 at Bingu International Convention Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

President Chakwera

Dr Mkandawire said the event, which is expected to be presided over by President Dr Lazarus Chakwera, will serve as a platform for multi-stakeholder engagement bringing together government representatives, development partners, mining companies, Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) operators, financial institutions, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), academia and various service providers.

“Malawi hosts a diverse array of mineral resources such as Rare Earth Elements (REEs), graphite, uranium, gold and gemstones, amongst others. These mineral resources are instrumental to industrialisation as described in the Malawi 2063.

“Our minerals are a significant source of government revenues through taxes, royalties and fees which are essential for funding development initiatives across various sectors. Furthermore, the mining sector provides employment opportunities, fosters skills development and sustains livelihoods through ASM,” reads part of the statement.

In an interview, Chairperson for National Resources Justice Network, Paul Mvula, welcomed the initiative as a good development saying, as a country, there is need to invest more in mining sector in order to improve the country’s economy.

“We have repeatedly been saying we do not only focus on foreign investors, but we need to also involve the indigenous investors. So, if this forum will focus on that, then it is a welcome development,” he said.

Government aims at growing the mining sector to contribute at least 20 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a goal that the ministry says will require robust legal, policy and institutional frameworks; public-private partnerships in mineral exploration and mining among others.

The Forum which will be held under the theme “Transforming the Nation through Sustainable Mineral Extraction” is expected to attract over 300 participants from African countries and beyond.