Yesterday, Joyce Banda, Malawi’s president, met with mining investors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe. His Highness Sheikh Saidi Bin Saqirbin Muhammed Al-Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Rasai of the UAE, led the foreign delegation.
Malawi’s Minister of Mining, John Bande, who has recently been embroiled in a land dispute with an orphanage, addressed the press,
United Arab Emirates is a country which is very advanced in the sector of mining, their mission is to help us in building up capacity in the mining sector so that we as a country also benefit from the industry.
As I have already said, our friends are more advanced when it comes to mining, Malawi as a country which is just venturing into the industry needs to partner with such countries so that we can learn a lot from them and help us address the gaps that exist in our mining industry.
We wonder if they are interested in acquiring a zone to explore for hydrocarbons in Lake Malawi. Three zones remain although the boundaries of Lake Malawi are currently under dispute.
It is our hope that assistance in this sector will be in the form of enhancing skills along the mining value chain. The Malawian government would be well advised to get on board with the African Mineral Skills Initiative (AMSI) launched by AngloGold Ashanti and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Investing in human resources is important because the skills shortage is one of the current challenges cited by AMSI as a barrier “to using Africa’s mineral reserves as a catalyst for growth”.
To learn more about this initiative, read an article written earlier this month, “On the dismissed University Bill and enhancing skills in Malawi’s mining sector“. Let us know what you think.