Regional Governance, Research and Policy Officer at Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) Veronica Zano has stressed the importance of managing the extractive sector saying they contribute heavily to the economic development of the country.
Speaking at the Zimbabwe Multi-Stakeholder Debt Conference held at the Rainbow Towers today, she added that if governed properly, they can play a vital role in the eradication of poverty, especially in developing countries.
“Minerals have immense potential to drive growth, support, sustainable development, and reduce poverty in developing countries,” she said.
Zano went on to say that it is high time that the country realizes how it can take advantage of the mineral resources it is endowed with to help in the development of the economy, as well as for settling public debts.
“There is, therefore, a need to identify how Zimbabwe’s extractive sector can be an engine for sustainable development and more importantly the addressing the country’s huge public debt deficit,” added Zano.
It is however important to note that the mining sector alone cannot strengthen and properly be the only catalyst in developing the country, but there must be efforts by the government to push other sectors in strengthening the economy.
“Mining on itself can never catapult the nation to the developments that it wants, on its own, but there should be efforts by the government to ensure that resources underpin development from other economies,” said Veronica.
During the meeting, she mentioned that the mining sector is a volatile place where prices can sky-rocket, and at the same time can fall abruptly, hence the country’s sheer value of extractive industry being infested with many challenges.
“Zimbabwe’s sheer value of the extractive industry has been riddled with a lot of challenges which include not always being able to collect appropriate levels of revenues, and illicit financial flows.”