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Malawi holds first ever mining investment forum

May 09, 2024 / Harry Witness Mombanyah

The Ministry of Mining has announced that Malawi will hold its first ever mining investment forum this year.

Minister of Mining Honourable Monica Chang’anamuno said at a Press Briefing at her Ministry’s headquarters in Lilongwe that the forum will be held at Bingu International Convention Centre from April 23to 24under the theme: Transforming the Nation through sustainable mineral extraction.

Chang’anamuno said the forum is important because the mining sector is central to the country’s development agenda as outlined in Malawi 2063.

She said: “Malawi has essential mineral resources such as rare earth elements, graphite, uranium, gold and others which are instrumental to industrialization.”

“These minerals are a significant source of government revenue through royalties, taxes and fees which are essential for funding development projects across various sectors in the country.”

The Minister said that the Forum will serve as a platform for multi stakeholder engagement that will bring together government representatives, artisanal and small-scale miners (ASMs), mining companies, financial institutions, civil service organizations (CSOs) and various service providers.

Chang’anamuno also said the Forum will help participants to explore strategies and solutions to unlock Malawi’s enormous mineral potential for the benefit of its citizens.

She said the Forum is expected to attract over 300 participants from African countries and beyond, and Government expects the event to subsequently attract many investors not only in mining and mineral exploration but also in other sectors such as tourism and hospitality as service providers.

“This Forum is going to benefit the country a lot as it will unearth the potential of our minerals sector to the world so that a lot of investors can come and invest,” said chang’anamuno.

The Forum has been organized by the Malawi Government in partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders in order to promote Malawi’s mining sector.

Chang’anamuno hinted that Government plans to make the Forum, which will be inaugurated by his Excellency the President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, an annual event.

Though it is key in Malawi’s development agenda, the mining sector only contributes a staggering 1% to Malawi’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Answering questions from journalists on why Malawi is not adequately benefiting from the sector, Chang’anamuno appealed to Malawians to be patient saying large scale mining projects take years to reach production stage.

“It is just a matter of time before the country starts reaping the benefits from the large-scale mining projects which have to undergo exploration and feasibility studies that require time,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Minister announced at the same press briefing that preparations to operationalize the long-awaited Mining and Minerals Regulatory Authority are at an advanced stage.

“The Ministry was waiting for financial allocation from the Treasury and I am glad to report that funds have been set aside in the current budget to operationalize the Authority,” she said.

Malawi has repealed the Mines and Minerals Act 2019 and replaced it with a new Act that incorporates provisions for the establishment of an independent regulatory authority of the mining and mineral resources.

The new Act explains that the regulatory authority will be responsible for regulating mineral resources and mining activities in the country including but not limited to; granting of mining licences; inspection of mining activities; advising the Minister on policy matters of the mining sector; and generally implementing the objectives of the Act and anything necessary or incidental to the better carrying out of the functions of the Authority.

Stakeholders in the sector have received news about the establishment of the Mining and Minerals Authority with a pinch of salt as there is a risk of duplication of roles between the Authority and other government departments such as Geological Survey Department and Department of Mines, which carry out functions similar to those allocated to the Authority.

The Mines and Minerals Act 2023 provides for the Minister responsible for mining to appoint five members of the Authority.  

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