Development Minerals in Zambia
The Development Minerals sector in Zambia has historically been overshadowed by the mining of copper, cobalt and emerald. However, on the back of Zambia's flourishing building and construction industry the Zambian government and other stakeholders are becoming increasingly aware of the potential of Development Minerals to alleviate poverty, create employment and generate national income.
The success of Ethiopia's cobblestone project for road construction led to the decision by Zambia's Road Development Agency (RDA) to follow in their footsteps through the Pave Zambia 2000 project which will see 2000km of existing urban and township roads rehabilitated over a period of five years using the interlocking paving brick and cobblestone technology. This project is expected to create employment for a minimum of 20,000 Zambians as well as boost the construction sector through the local supply of aggregates for the production of concrete block pavers, cement and river sand.
Challenges, however, remain in the sector. Informality is contributing to significant occupational health and safety, environment and community relations challenges that need to be addressed.
In July 2016, 46 stakeholders attended the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme National Consultation Workshop in Lusaka to discuss the potential of the sector and to craft a national roadmap and workplan for the implementation of the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme in Zambia.