President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika Saturday told Malawian journalists covering the 34th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) that Malawi would learn from countries with vast experience in mining industry to benefit the locals and the country as a whole.
Mutharika told the press in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on Malawi’s plans to invest in mining industry which would help the country move from importing to exporting country.
“You know we have industries in the region where local people have not benefitted. We look forward to learning from our friends like Zimbabwe also Botswana and Zambia who have vast experience in mining,” he said.
Mutharika said Malawi would have to export more manufactured goods as opposed to raw materials.
“We will support companies that want to export. We will also insist on proper tax rate, royalties and social responsibility,” Mutharika explained.
He said the 2014 SADC Summit theme chosen by Zimbabwe was timely because it focuses on value addition.
“We will, therefore, have to add value to our products that is exporting more manufactured goods as opposed to raw materials,” he said.
Zambia’s mineral resources spans a range of metals, particularly copper, gold and gemstones, a variety of industrial minerals and potential energy resources – uranium, coal and hydrocarbons.
On the other hand, Zimbabwe produces more than 40 types of metals and minerals. About 40 per cent of the country’s foreign exchange is earned from the export of these metals and minerals, accounting for 5 per cent of total employment and 7 per cent of GDP.
Highlighting on the achievements Malawi has made as SADC chair, President Mutharika said Malawi through organ of peace defense and security, was able to foster peace and security in Madagascar.
“There was an election in December and we have a new President who is here and I met him in Washington DC in United States of America.
“It seems he is very hopeful that the difficult situation in Madagascar has finally been resolved. Through this organ of peace and security we have done a good job,” Mutharika said.
Among the functions to be performed by President Mutharika during the summit include, among others, to present a report as outgoing SADC Chairperson on the activities undertaken during Malawi’s tenure of office.
He would also relinquish his Sadc Chairmanship to his Zimbabwean counterpart President Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
Malawi was elected the Sadc Chairperson on 17th August 2013 during the 33rd Sadc Summit held in Lilongwe under the theme: “Agriculture Development and Agri-Industries: Key for Economic Growth and Poverty Eradication in the SADC Region.”
Sadc, established since 1980, is a Regional Economic Community comprising 15 Member States; Angola,Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia,Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Main objectives of the grouping are to achieve development, peace and security, and economic growth, to alleviate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa, and support the socially disadvantaged through regional integration, built on democratic principles and equitable and sustainable development.