Leonard Kalindekafe was appointed as the Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Mines at the end of last year. This came a few weeks after the Ministry of Energy and Mining was split into two ministries: the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Mining, and John Bande was appointed Minister of Mining to replace Cassim Chilumpha.
Kalindekafe has held other positions in the civil service, including the role of Director of Malawi’s Geological Survey Department. This is the highest civil service position within government. He is a geologist with experience working across Africa as well as in Canada, Saudi Arabia and Oman.
A holder of a PhD from the University of Dundee’s Center for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, United Kingdom, Kalindekafe is also the chairperson of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (under the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)), a global forum for enhancing the mining sector’s contribution to sustainable development and poverty reduction around the world.
It will be interesting to witness how his interests, evident in his doctoral thesis “Mining Policy Formulation: Analysing the Role of Stakeholder Dynamics“, and activities with the Intergovernmental Forum shape the way the Ministry engages stakeholders.
How involved will stakeholders, particularly non-traditional groups such as civil society and communities, be in shaping mining policy in Malawi? What is their position within the recently launched World Bank, European Union and Government of Malawi Mining Growth and Governance Support Project?
Editor’s Note: The Nation praised Kalindekafe in 2012 when he was given the role of Principal Secretary. They cited the following as some of his achievements:
- He is one of the key people who initiated the formulation of the first Mining Policy for Malawi. The policy is yet to be approved by Cabinet.
- He was elected president of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development-IGF (November 2009 to November 2011). This is an officially recognised Forum for the UN on mining issues and has 43 member States, including South Africa, Russia, United Kingdom and Brazil. He was re-elected in November 2011 for another two-year term ending in November 2013.
- He originated and organised Malawi’s first International Mining Conference under the theme: Mineral Resources of Malawi Exhibition from August 3-5 2000 in Blantyre.
- He initiated the establishment of the Geological Society of Malawi (GSM) launched in September 2000.
- He successfully lobbied Jica to purchase a $1.2 million drilling machine and a $112 000 atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS) for Geological Survey Department of Malawi.
- He developed the concept and campaigned for a countrywide project to re-map the geology of Malawi. That project has now materialised under the name: Mining Growth and Governance Support Project (MGGSP) jointly funded by World Bank and European Union at an estimated cost of $30 million. An agreement has just been reached with the French government to fund an €11 million geological mapping project as a follow-up project to the airborne geophysical exploration of the MGGSP.