By Wahard Betha
Malawi’s Ministry of Mining will on May 29, 2023 launch its 5-year strategic plan and the National Petroleum (Exploration and Production) (NPEPP) Policy in Lilongwe.
The strategic plan has been designed to provide strategic direction for the development of the mining sector from 2022 to 2027.
Principal Secretary for the Ministry Joseph Mkandawire says in a Press Statement the development of the plan follows Government’s interest for the mining sector to contribute to the sustainable socio-economic growth and development of the country.
Mkandawire says: “Therefore, the aim of this plan is to promote growth and sustainable development of the mineral sector with a view to stimulating exports and contributing to import substitution.”
“The plan provides a new operational framework with a clear mission, vision and strategic objectives along with clear performance indicators.”
“Furthermore, the strategic plan has taken into account various challenges facing the mining sector, both at micro and macro levels. This plan, therefore, responds to a greater extent to some key challenges that the sector has been facing all along.”
Mkandawire also stresses that Government plans to launch the National Petroleum Exploration and Production Policy upon recognition of the potential that upstream petroleum subsector has in transforming the country’s economy.
He says if well managed, petroleum resource development has the potential to generate revenue through royalties and taxes, contribute to foreign exchange currency reserves, create employment; and transfer new technologies and skills necessary for socio-economic development of the country.
Mkandawire says: “In view of the foregoing, the National Petroleum Exploration and Production Policy has been developed to provide a new policy direction and guidance in the implementation of interventions in the upstream petroleum subsector.”
“This policy has come at a time when there is renewed interest in the development of the upstream petroleum subsector in the country as well as the rest of the Great African Rift Valley Region.”
“Therefore it is imperative that this Policy is in sync with the developments and new practices in the sector.”
The Malawi Vision 2063 which was launched by the state president Lazarus Chakwera states that Mining has tremendous potential to develop and support the inclusive wealth creation agenda.
This is through three pillars that are in the vision including Agriculture Productivity and Commercialization, Industrialization including Mining, and Urbanization including Tourism.
The second pillar, which is industrialization through Mining, offers an opportunity for mineral value addition, research, science, and innovation, detailing an opportunity to export high-value mineral products such as uranium, niobium, rare earths, graphite, and titanium (rutile/ilmenite).