The African Development Bank (AfDB) Resident Representative Andrew Mwaba has urged Malawi to formulate robust mining policies which would help the country generate enough revenue especially in the wake of withdrawal of budgetary support by donors.
Mwaba’s sentiments come at a time the country is debating ways of improving the mining sector to ensure it gets better deals from prospective mining investors.
Speaking in an interview in Lilongwe this week, Mwaba said Malawi would earn a lot of revenue if it struck deals that are good for both the investors and the country.
Said Mwaba: “Malawi has shown that it has huge mineral potential and this is the time it must strive to strike deals that are beneficial both for the investors and the people of the country.”
Mwaba said it is inappropriate for mining investors to benefit more than the country they are getting the minerals from.
According to Mwaba, this is what has necessitated the setting up of an African Natural Resources Centre to help boost the capacity of countries in the mining sector.
Speaking in a separate interview, principal secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mining, Ben Botolo, concurred with Mwaba, saying Malawi needs to formulate contracts that benefit both the country and the investors.
“Mining can transform the economy of the country if we can only stay focused. I agree with Mr Mwaba that we should give out contracts that will help us get the best out of our mining sector. The countries around us have moved forward because of the mining sector and we should follow suit,” said Botolo.
Commenting on Cashgate, the theft of billions of kwacha from public coffers, Mwaba said while the bank is satisfied with the measures the government has put in place to prevent a recurrence of the plunder of public funds, more still needs to be done to eradicate the problem.