ZAMBIA | Global gathering of artisanal and small-scale miners held
More than 500 people participated in the International Conference on Artisanal and Small-scale Mining and Quarrying (ASM18) held in Livingstone - Zambia, with the aim of sharing visions of sustainable development from that sector. The conference is expected to promote a global dialogue on the opportunities and challenges of ASM.
"ASM18 comes at a very critical time in the mining sector of Zambia. Mining and small-scale and artisan quarries are important for Zambia to diversify beyond large-scale copper mining and meet the objectives of the Seventh National Development Plan of Zambia, to diversify the economy, create jobs and reduce poverty "Said Hon Richard Musukwa, Minister of Development of Mines and Minerals of Zambia.
Artisanal and small-scale mining is an important subsistence activity that represents up to 90% of the global mining labor force, representing millions of people who are directly involved. For that reason, the potential of a sustainable ASM is synonymous with opportunities and economic development for all the actors in the value chain.
"One of the greatest paradoxes of our time is summarized in the African, Caribbean and Pacific region, where there is suffering in the midst of abundance. This is particularly true in the minerals sector, where almost two thirds of the 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific are mining countries or have mining potential that, if rationally exploited, could contribute to inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development " , said Dr. Patrick Ignatius Gomes, Secretary General of the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.
THE CONTRIBUTION OF WOMEN MINERS
The challenges also require appropriate strategies for the economic integration of women, reassessing their contribution to the development of mining activity and thus manage a growth that positively impacts the community in general.
"Our global community has set ambitious Sustainable Development Goals and to achieve them we must incorporate the millions of women and men involved in artisanal and small-scale mining," said Janet Rogan, Coordinator and Resident Representative of the UNDP in Zambia.
MORE ABOUT ASM18
The congress addressed various products such as gold, diamonds, tin, tungsten, tantalum and colored stones, and also those that have received much attention such as gravel and clay, which are extracted and used locally in Zambia.
ASM18 is an initiative of the ACP-EU Mineral Development Program, organized by the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, the European Union, the United Nations Develpment Program (UNDP) and the Government of Zambia, with the support of the World Bank, the African Union, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerales, Metals and Sustainable Development, and the German Cooperation.