- June 19, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Mining is one of the core sectors that drive in an economy. In many developing countries, it is the only realistic alternative to kick start economies and speed up general development.
By Timothy Chizuzu
The mining sector is referred to as the industry of industries as it does not only contribute to gross domestic product (GDP) but to the growth of other industries such as power, agriculture, and steel.
Globally, Zimbabwe is one of the many countries that is endowed with mineral resources and mining has always played an important role in the country’s history of economic development. However, the country needs to lure more local and foreign investors to invest in our mining industry to revive the economy and also to meet the 12 billion mark by 2023 set by the President.
Our country needs foreign direct investment and also to boost investor confidence, the key issues which need to be addressed are transparency and accountability on the issuance of mining titles.
Transparency is used as a means of holding public officials accountable and fighting corruption, while accountability refers to the responsibility or obligation of government officials to act in the best interests of society or face consequences. Public officials should be held responsible for their actions. Legal accountability concerns the mechanisms by which public officials can be held liable for actions that go against established rules and principles.
The government should speed up the process of digitisation since most of the maps used at the Ministry of Mines are torn and some you can not even read what is on them and it is very difficult for us to convince an investor to buy or peg a claim on a map which is not clear and which he or she cannot distinguish the boundaries.
Torn and unclear maps are one of the major causes of disputes in the mining industry that usually leads to over pegging and double allocation of mining claims. This affects production since people will spend much of their time attending courts which creates downtime and loss of production.
With digitisation, everyone will have access to information and if someone makes an application and over pegs, the existing mining claims the system automatically rejects the application. Also, an interested party with be able to apply from his/her consultant office and make all payments without visiting the office eliminating possible corruption, saving time, and money for travelling and hotel bills.
A good example is the case of Kenya where all mining applications and payments are done electronically reducing interactions among officials and clients this promotes transparency.
I think the best way to achieve this goal is for the ministry to have a pilot project which starts from each provincial-level whereby all existing claims are put in the database before adding new ones. Provincial then to the national level where all the information is stored and managed.
We need to revive our mining industry and economy and it takes all of us leadership and people at large to find ways to archive our goals which promotes growth and sustainable development.
This article first appeared in the 15 June issue of Mining Newsweek Magazine