African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is set to enable Africa to trade under preferential conditions and this will have a positive bearing on mining which is a strategic sector within the continent.
The trade pact which was signed and ratified by Zimbabwe along with other 35 Africa countries is an impetus towards accelerating the expansion of regional value chains in Africa’s budding manufacturing economies.
Young Miners Foundation (YMF) a trust organization established to advance and upscale youths (18- 40yrs) entrepreneurial participation in mining enterprise development and commercialization hosted an inaugural Minerals Export, Trade and Value Addition(METVA) Seminar in Mutare which is in line with African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
Speaking at the METVA seminar the Minister of State and Provincial Affairs Manicaland Province Nokuthula Matsikenyere commended YMF’s positivity towards the trade agreement which bears the capacity to create far more than 700 000 formal jobs by 2025 in accordance to the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
“This will surely catapult the attainment of the Minerals Development Plan target of US$12 billion Mining Economy by 2023 which ultimately resonates to the country’s Vision 2030 of attaining the Upper Middle Income Economy.
“The immense reasons for embracing this Intra- Africa trade pact are to ensure that the country gets revenue from minerals Export and Trade by discussing key areas to eliminate issues of smuggling and how to plug the leakages of our precious minerals out of our country. The Seminar will also, unpack opportunities associated and presented by the AfCFTA pact to Young Miners in order to bolster their efficiency gains in mining,” Matsikenyere said.
The seminar was graced by relevant Government Ministries, law enforcement agents, customs and clearing agents, mining companies, key stakeholders in mining, and young miners who convened issues to do with legislation, how Young Miners can engage in legal Minerals Export and trade business as well as how to add value to minerals before they are exported.
Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) General Manager Tongai Muzenda who was also present at METVA seminar raised concerns on the challenges in the mining sector pertaining value addition and beneficiation.
Some of the challenges he noted include, commodity volatility, price fluctuations, use of old technologies in processing that makes products uncompetitive in quality and economies of scale, lack of liquidity to operationalize most of the cutting and polishing factories, poor transportation and infrastructure.
He also stated the possible solutions to make mining in Zimbabwe more viable.
“Focusing on innovation is essential to deal with current operational challenges and convert them into opportunities. It is incredibly valuable across the mining business spectrum from exploration, extraction, safety, to marketing. In fact, investment on innovation guarantees the sector towards futuristic opportunities. The mining industry is encouraged to be open for new approaches and adopting new technologies in order to expand their knowledge and grow the sector,” Muzenda said.
Moreover, Muzenda highlighted on the need to make efforts in order to attain the US$12 Billion Mining Economy by 2023 and how to benefit fully from the AfCFTA pact.
“There is need for Registering and participating in international fairs and conferences, online participation in seminars in order to gain knowledge of the industry and using the social media to publicize mining activities,” Muzenda said.
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