HomeOpinion & AnalysisLettersMining in Africa: Is sustainability far-fetched?

Mining in Africa: Is sustainability far-fetched?

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THE mining industry is very intrusive by nature, requiring enormous amounts of energy and the removal of large quantities of soil and rock, resulting in significant local contamination during extraction and transportation

Banks and shareholders are putting pressure on miners to enhance their environmental standards; They strive for net-zero carbon emissions at direct mining operations and value chains

Historically, the sector has been responsible for many worker accidents and fatalities. As a result, it would be simple to dismiss the entire industry as an ecologically and socially unsustainable remnant of the industrial past

Other countries’ future of sustainable mining methods are considered a bellwether for the most significant African sector since it is the continent’s largest centre of mining activity

The mining sector is under increasing pressure to embrace more ecologically and socially sustainable African methods.

With lenders and investors requiring reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and advancements in the workforce and community well-being, there is a widespread perception that it is in the industry’s best interests to adopt more responsible practices to increase productivity and avoid negative publicity.

The mining industry is very intrusive by nature, requiring enormous amounts of energy and the removal of large quantities of soil and rock, resulting in significant local contamination during extraction and transportation.

Historically, the sector has been responsible for many worker accidents and fatalities.

As a result, it would be simple to dismiss the entire industry as an ecologically and socially unsustainable remnant of the industrial past.

Indeed, thermal coal output has already begun to decline in some markets, with coking coal expected to follow if the cost of new smelting technology falls sufficiently.

Some firms have also abandoned natural diamonds in favour of synthetic stones.

Iron ore and bauxite mining, on the other hand, will remain for many decades to support steel manufacturing, while manganese, cobalt, and copper are employed in many emerging technologies.

As a result, more sustainable mining technologies must be found and extensively used.

Long-term sustainability entails maximising worker health and safety while minimising mine environmental effects, ensuring that mine host communities benefit from mining activities and prevent environmental degradation.

It entails weeding out fraudulent activities in the sector, including procurement, employment, and licensing.

Sustainable mining also necessitates the development of a feasible mine closure plan that includes appropriate funding for post-close rehabilitation.

Simultaneously, sustainable techniques can increase the longevity of mining operations, which has clear monetary benefits.-The Exchange


PSL should deal with hooliganism

THE recent suspension of Zimbabwe’s domestic top flight football following the incidents of hooliganism in the so-called Battle of Zimbabwe match between old foes Dynamos and Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday made sad reading and came as a surprise to me.

It is worrisome that Barbourfields was turned into war zone — and the law enforcement agents tried in vain to restore order. Such behaviour by fans demeans football.

Furthermore, it is not untrue that Bosso fans were the first to invade the pitch as they celebrated their team’s controversial goal, and then the DeMbare players mobbed the referee claiming a foul before their fans invaded the pitch.

The nets were ripped off, the goal posts were uprooted, sharp objects were thrown onto the pitch. A lot of barbaric acts took place at Barbourfields, which forced the match to be ended prematurely. If truth to be said, that was another sad day in domestic football history.

This is not football and we can do better than this as soccer-loving fans. The country’s two biggest teams’ supporters are chiefly to blame. We have witnessed many incidents of chaos at football matches. This nonsense must come an end.

Sportsmanship and fair play must prevail always, and the game of football has to be the biggest winner at the end of the day. Football should unite us as Zimbabweans.

What’s needed is robust action to end these problems. Something is wrong about our football.

The whole game was marred by chaos and bad officiating. It was a disaster. The situation was unfortunate.

But if one looks into this matter with both eyes, they will find out that there was clear foul on Shadreck Nyahwa in the build-up to the Bosso goal.

And Bill Antonio’s tackle on Adrew Tandi was very bad, but the referee made a harsh decision. Antonio was not supposed to be shown a straight red card.

Football fans should refrain from violence and hooliganism. Personally, I strongly condemn acts of violence and malicious damage to property.

The abandonment of the football match on Sunday showed beyond doubt that we still have a long way to go when it comes to football matters and the success of domestic football is still in doubt.

In this regard, football leaders should not make decisions that are based on emotions or feelings.

How can they suspend the whole league just because of two teams or a few thugs or hooligans who wish to see the domestic football in tatters? It does not make sense at all. The hooligans must be punished. Yes, they deserve very stiff penalties.

The suspension of the whole league was not necessary and it is my sincere hope that all the games will resume soon and start to flow smoothly without any setbacks. That’s all we want to see.

In this vein, the players were also affected by the Premier Soccer League (PSL)’s harsh decision.

The PSL leaders should not continue to make decisions that will kill sponsors’ confidence in the long run.

As peace-loving football fans, our confidence has been eroded by repeated administration failures.-Terrence Mwedzi


Africa must tell her own story

IN a few days to come, we shall be celebrating the birth of an African continent on May 25, 2022. I would like to reflect on a few achievements and challenges we have faced as a continent.

Africa is still endowed with vast mineral deposits and boasts a population of 60% young people. The West needs Africa more as it can tap into the wide range of resources.

The African Union is also pushing for permanent UN security council seats and a greater say in world affairs.

Through mobile phones, Africa has made great strides in the communication sphere and there has been great connectivity. This has improved the way of doing business, thereby boosting African economies.

However, there have been more challenges facing the continent.

The continent has been greatly exposed on the preparedness of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, especially on manufacturing it’s own vaccines. It has mostly relied on the West and East for the vaccines. We need to improve and pour more resources on researching and manufacturing.

Poverty and corruption is still crippling the growth of the continent worsened by civil wars and coups.

In Nigeria, the continent has been disturbed by a militia group Boko Haram, while Somalia and Kenya have been hit by Al Shabaab.

Coups have been a major deterrent and concern in African democracies. There were successful coups in Chad, Mali, Guinea and Zimbabwe with failed military takeovers in Niger, Guinea Bissau and Sudan.

And 2021 witnessed a higher number of coups in Africa compared with previous years.

The overall number of coup attempts in Africa remained remarkably consistent at an average of around four a year in the four decades between 1960 and 2000.

Africa now has started to witness more coups than before because of the instability of many African countries as a result of poor economic performances.

Constitutions are being tampered with and changed many times to favour the incumbents. The African continent has become a hub of creating dictactors. There are no peaceful power transfers on the continent. There is tangible sense of mistrust between African states.

Political activists and opposition leaders are still regarded as enemies of the State.

Africa must unite and get rid of leaders who are power hungry.

Right now, countries can’t even unite on regional basis, for example Sadc and Ecowas etc.

African needs to speak with one voice and more resources must be channelled to establish a Pan-African currency, which must be used by all the States. The spirit of coming up with United States of Africa must be revived.

The media, as the most powerful entity on earth, must be used to inform and educate the power of African renaissance.

The media has the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, so Africa must come up with its own media narrative and tell its own success stories.

Revitalise and energise the African media to help it propagate the Afrocentric perspectives and views to counter the Western media. Happy Africa Day.-Leonard Koni

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