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‘Change exploitative mining business model’

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AFRICAN countries should adopt modern mining models which create jobs and opportunities for the next generation as current models are not sustainable, a government official yesterday said.

Victoria Mtomba,Business Reporter

Speaking at the African for Results Forum, Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidakwa said the mining structure being used in many African countries had been adopted from the colonial period established 100 years ago and it gave foreigners access to African countries’ resources.

He said the continent received 40% in taxes in 2011 from the extractive industry, while profits for international companies went up by 110% from the continent which shows that the model was not good.

He said the model allows for a 100% dividend out of the African continent.

“What models have we been operating on? We have been operating with models that give others access to our resources before we were born, to most of our mineral resources 100%.

“The model was that our benefits were through the creation of jobs, but not just but jobs primary jobs because it’s the extractive sector so you get primary jobs.

If you get primary jobs, you build primary incomes that do not begat middle income which is ordinarily a driver of economic growth,” Chidakwa said.

He said African countries had to evaluate this model as it was not sustainable and had not worked for the past 100 years.

“Must we watch? Must we accept it as God-given or must we change it for our betterment?” he said.

Chidakwa said the colonial system allocated the responsibility of industrialisation to Western countries while the colonies were there to provide raw materials that would be value-added elsewhere.

“Our balance of payments will never balance because we sell low income commodities and we seriously need to move to the next stage. If we do not and continue to provide raw materials, we will always be poor,” Chidakwa said.

The African for Results Forum and sixth African Community Practice is being held in the capital until Friday and 26 African countries and other international countries are expected to participate at the meeting.

The workshop will set objectives on the management of the resources in the continent.

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