By KENNEDY MUPESENI –
THE Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) has urged Government to introduce community mineral royalty revenue sharing to enhance economic development in mineral-rich areas.
The centre has since initiated the process of developing a proposed model for Mineral Revenue Sharing Mechanism (MRSM) for local communities appropriate for Zambia.
This will form the basis for an advocacy agenda targeting public and private actors on the development, legislation and implementation of MRSM.
CTPD economic governance and programmes assistant Kangwa Muyunda said there was need for a well-organised MRSM for mineral community beneficiation to take place.
“Although the extractive industry has been generating billions of Kwacha annually in Zambia, mining by nature causes direct and indirect impacts on the environment, social, culture and economic welfare of mine hosting communities, hence the need for a mechanism to offset the impact,” Ms Muyunda said.
She said this in a presentation dubbed “Mineral Sharing Model” in Mufulira on Wednesday.
Ms Muyunda said the introduction of MRSM would enable communities near mining companies to realise their human rights.
She said the primary justification for the implementation of MRSM in Zambia was to ensure compensation and beneficiation of local communities now that most areas in the country had mining activities.
Ms Muyunda, however, noted with satisfaction that the country was making significant progress in implementing the decentralisation agenda.
“The country has made steady progress in terms of decentralisation and as such, the proposed model of an MRSM would facilitate empowerment of host communities to drive a local development agenda.
“Almost all the districts in Zambia have a mining activity and the concept of promoting sustainable development in mining host communities or communities that are affected by mining operations has gained currency,” she said.