HARARE – Zimbabwe will once again be on the spotlight when the country hosts the 5th annual Zimbabwe Mining and Infrastructure Indaba from September 25 to 27 this week.
The indaba — to be officially opened by the incoming Mines and Mining Development minister, Walter Chidhakwa — will be running under the theme “Re-defining Africa: harnessing our resources collectively”.
According to organisers of the event, plans are already at an advanced stage and a lot of local, regional and international experts have confirmed their participation in this year’s indaba.
The Mining Indaba, which comes hard-on-the-heels of the successful United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) convention in Victoria Falls will seek to position the country as a lucrative investment destination for mining ventures.
Experts have lauded the successful hosting of the UNWTO general assembly and now the Mining Indaba saying that this shows that the country has turned the corner and is surely poised for a great future.
The conference focuses on Africa coming together to discuss the fundamental areas of mining, infrastructure development, financing and human resource requirements and what needs to be done collectively in order to move development and economies into the future.
Topics to be discussed at the Indaba will include the Mining Sector in Zimbabwe over the past 5 years and the way forward –— new mining policies, exploration, beneficiation, the economy, rules of engagement: mining in Africa –— creating that conducive environment and building sustainable communities through Mining.
Other topics that will be tackled by stakeholders also include a new generation of miners in Africa – Women, Junior miners and Artisanal miners, regional integration of infrastructure: Bringing efficiencies to service delivery in the region, lighting up Africa — power and energy projects across Africa that are in process and those envisaged and PPPs across Africa — the public and private sector working together to develop infrastructure.
Key note speakers will include Chidhakwa, former deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, the president of the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe Alex Mhembere, the consultant who drafted Zimbabwe’s new mining policy Paul Jourdan, and Kogan Pillay, Sadc Head of PPPs Networking.
Other notable speakers who are expected to grace the Indaba are chief economist at the Industrial Development Coropration Lumkile Mondi, president of the Black Business Council of South Africa Xolani Qubeka, Thabang Masingi, partner at Webber Wentzel, Sternford Moyo, senior partner at Scanlan and Holderness, Steven Gamble of Norton Rose Fulbright, Yvette Babb, Africa Strategist with Standard Bank’s Africa research team and many more.
The first day of the indaba will focus on mining and the mining sector. Jourdan, an African integrated development expert specialising in resource-based development strategies, will present highlights of this policy.
Other discussions will include topics such as: the new faces in the African mining sector; strategies to build new mining entrants such as junior miners, women and artisanal miners, strategies to extract maximum value from natural resources, creating a conducive environment for mining; strategies for leveraging minerals for indigenous African development; funding and financing challenges for mining; how to build sustainable communities in mining centres to prevent incidents such as Marikana.
The Zimbabwe Mining and Infrastructure Indaba, as an international forum, will continuously endeavour to bring the private and public sectors across Africa to work together with the sole aim of harnessing African resources collectively for the benefit of all.
Open and positive interactions, such as those that have taken place at the past Indabas between the government and all the other stakeholders, help bridge the differences in views that the various stakeholders may have, and allows the focus to be on developing sustainable mining through proper infrastructure and availability of finance.