Securing Zambia's lost gemstones

From Zambian Economist Tue Dec 4 2012, 16:10:00

By Chola Mukanga

Gemstones are among the most lucrative minerals in the world. They are also stones that Zambia has in abundance. It has the second largest deposits of emeralds in the world and accounts for about 20% of global supplies. The quality of these emerald stones is very good for colour and specific gravity. Zambia also possesses Africa's largest deposits of amethyst and aquamarine, with the quality of the former considered to be amongst the very best in the world. These deposits can be found in Copperbelt, Eastern and Southern provinces, with more discoveries being made in other parts of Zambia as exploration intensifies.

Unfortunately, like much of Zambia's mining story, the country has failed to benefit from these vast gemstones riches. Our completely liberalised gemstones sector have not delivered any tangible benefits to ordinary Zambians. There's minimal employment creation, most of them are not owned by Zambians and the tax revenue is non-existent. As former Mines Minister Wilbur Simuusa, put it, "the gemstone sector can contribute about US$700 million annually if properly managed". That dwarfs any amount being collected currently from copper mining. Properly managed, the production of gemstones has the potential to earn the country significant tax revenues and aid the much diversification away from copper. A full fledged gemstone sector may also be a catalyst in fighting, especially if it is dominated by indigenous firms and is able to create employment for many jobless youths.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Angola:   New International Airport Has Physical Implementation Within Time Limits (news)
Angola Press Agency
4 March 2015

The physical implementation of the construction of the new Luanda International Airport is on time and should be completed in late 2016, said on Wednesday the minister of Transport, Augusto da Silva ... [read more]

Angola:   MPs and Justice Organs Discuss State Budget (news)
Angola Press Agency
4 March 2015

Mps with the various commissions of the National Assembly (Angolan Parliament) Wednesday in Luanda discussed the State Budget for 2015. [read more]

Angola:   Oil Price Drop Does Not Affect New Airport Work (news)
Angola Press Agency
4 March 2015

The minister of Construction, Waldemar Alexandre Pires ruled out (Wednesday), in Luanda, the possibility of the works of Luanda International Airport to be affected by the oil price fall in the ... [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!