Senior Business Reporter
Government has resolved to reserve mining concessions for youths in eight provinces as part of a youth empowerment drive that would enable young people to venture into mining.
The resolution which was adopted by Cabinet on Tuesday is in line with the Constitution which ensures that youths are afforded opportunities for employment and other avenues to economic empowerment.
Apart from reserving land for the youths, the Cabinet also approved the registration of four Special Grants to enable the Mining Promotion Corporation to engage suitable entities to negotiate joint venture arrangements.
Mining Promotion Corporation is a wholly owned Government company that holds a number of reservations for strategic investment and exploration.
Youths, particularly in gold rich districts in Matabeleland region have long implored the government to allocate them some mining claims so that they can positively contribute to the national economy.
They said failure to allocate them claims is forcing some of them to engage in illegal mining activities.
In her post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said finer details on the framework to outline the implementation of youth mining land will be revealed soon.
“Cabinet considered and approved that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development should reserve some areas for the empowerment of Youths, to take part in the mining industry, in line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
“Section 20 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that the “ State and its institutions and agencies at every level must take reasonable measures, including affirmative action to ensure that youths are afforded opportunities for employment and other avenues to economic empowerment.
“Accordingly Cabinet approved to reserve against prospecting and pegging portions of areas in the eight provinces.
A framework which will clearly outline the implementation modalities for the programme will be shared with the public soon,” she said.
The mining sector is critical in generating foreign currency, contributing about 70 percent of the forex earnings, largely driven by gold, platinum, and diamond.
Last month, President Mnangagwa said the country’s mining sector is registering unprecedented growth, for the first time in history, with earnings jumping to US$5,2 billion in 2021 from about US$2,9 billion in 2017 when the New Dispensation came into being, which is indicative of the positive gains realised from Government’s economic reform agenda.
Government has set an ambitious target for the mining sector to realise a US$12 billion milestone by 2023 and this, despite unforeseen shocks, remains certain, judging by the continued momentum across key subsectors, and the newly commissioned signature projects covering different mineral segments.
Minister Mutsvangwa added that a proposal for a memorandum of understanding between the Government and the African Diaspora Development Institute, an organisation made up of African Diaspora around the world who have united for the purpose of participating in investing in Africa was approved.
The African Diaspora Development Institute will fund the development of a mining gold centre in Pondoroza village in Mashonaland province.
The benefits from these investments will accrue to African Diaspora Development Institute and the community, she said.