By Michael Kaluba
The Emerald Production Watch of Zambia has challenged the government to pay as much attention to the gemstone mining sub-sector which has huge potential to accrue more benefit to the country with the right amount of investments.
Organization President Musa Kafimbwa has further challenged the government to utilize this period when Zambia is ranked as the number one supplier of gemstones accounting for 42% of the global precious stones market, to grow the sub-sector to revive the number of investments given to the country’s copper production.
Mr. Kafimbwa is of the view that 2023 is the year for the government to invest time and resources to make the emerald mining business more visible through technical assistance, policies, and plans to ensure the benefits of these mineral resources are accrued to Zambians.
He argues that with Zambia currently accounting for over 42% of the world’s gemstone supply market, there is need for proper management of the sector to ensure genuine development by merging idle licenses, attracting huge investments, creating more opportunities for local youths as well as creating jobs, among other benefits.
He reiterates the need for Zambia to shift its attention from prioritizing copper trade to also focusing much on the gemstone mining sector starting in this year for the potential it has to realize the country's much-needed development.