President Hakainde Hichilema has said that there was need for his administration to bring transparency and efficiency in the gemstone sector so that it could deliver development to Zambians.
Hichilema said the government would continue engaging players in the industry and called on Zambians to be active participants in the economic development process.
He said this when he met a delegation led by Chief Executive Officer of Gemfields Group and Kagem Mining, Sean Gilbertson, at State House on Tuesday.
A post on Hichilema’s Facebook handle reads: “We had important conversations on gemstone mining in Zambia, including how to officialise artisanal miners as we create opportunities and employment in this strategic sector, the way that has been successfully implemented in neighbouring countries.”
He said Zambia was the top producer of emeralds globally with our quality of gemstones being sought after, fetching good prices.
Hichilema noted the need to officialise artisanal miners as the government creates opportunities and employment in the sector.
“With Kagem being 25 percent owned by the Zambian people through IDC, government was ajoint custodians of the people’s resources,” he said.
Hichilema said it was through joint ventures and partnerships like this that the government could grow the key sector to benefit the people from the natural resource endowment.
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