State President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s recent cabinet reshuffle has seen Lilongwe North legislator Monica Chang’anamuno replacing Ntcheu Central Member of Parliament Albert Mbawala as Minister of Mining.
We at Mining Review Publications join fellow stakeholders in Malawi’s mineral sector in congratulating Chang’anamuno for becoming the first female Minister of Mining in Malawi.
However, we agree with the words of Veteran Geologist James Chatupa in our lead article that the success of the Minister hinges on the support that she receives from not only technocrats in the Ministry but all the stakeholders.
We, therefore, call upon stakeholders to support the new Minister so that she ably and efficiently leads the Ministry of Mining in implementing its role in the industrialisation drive reflected in the Malawi 2063 vision.
Certainly, one of the issues that the new Minister should not entertain is bureaucracy, which is a serious disease in government systems and a disincentive to investment.
It should not take ages for the Mineral Resources Committee to meet and approve mineral licences. Equally the Ministry should be proactive in ensuring that mining investors access permits processed by Departments outside the Ministry such as Forestry, Environmental Affairs, Lands and Water in time.
We also agree with Coordinator for the Chamber of Mines and Energy Grain Malunga that it should not take ages for government to sign mine development agreements (MDAs).
Delays in signing MDAs, various permits and licenses negatively affect mining investment as they reduce confidence for investors to invest in the mining projects.
The good thing with the new Minister is that she has already shown that she has the spirit to engage various stakeholders to share opinion to develop this potential sector. Our meeting with her soon after assuming office attests to this.
We request her to continue with this trend of engaging stakeholders including the media and civil society organisations who are sometimes considered adversaries by some ruling party politicians.
On the same note, let us wish all the best to the previous Minister of Mining Honourable Dr Albert Mbawala. He really showed the passion, the zeal and the dedication to spearhead the development of the mining sector.
The Ministry has registered outstanding progress towards the signing of MDAs, formation of national mining company and mining regulatory authority, formalisation of artisanal and small scale miners, signing of important mining licenses and many areas under his stewardship.