Botswana pledges mining support to Malawi

Botswana pledges mining support to Malawi

President Mokgweetsi Masisi says his government is willing to share expertise on legislation and governance with Malawi so that the country can benefit from its mining sector.

Botswana’s President has offered the support of his government in helping Malawi derive as much benefit as it can from its local mining sector.

Speaking at a joint press briefing in May, Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika and President Mokgweetsi Masisi agreed that Botswana’s mining legislation ranked amongst the best in the world.

President Masisi said his country’s mining industry saw an about-turn after the decision to partner with foreign investors who brought in expertise in the area of governance, technological capacity and legislation.

MWNation quoted President Masisi as saying: “Part of the mineral legislation in Botswana demands that anything found belongs to the State and if anybody wants to go after it as an investor they will be given permission but they are licensed after due diligence. Even after licensing, because the mineral wealth in its raw form belongs to the State, they will pay a royalty for what they get so there is a valuation system to determine what it costs.”

Admitting that Malawi had a ways to go terms of capitalising on the country’s mineral wealth, President Mutharika said his government paid a hefty price for its poor negotiation with Paladin Africa in the Kayelekera Uranium Mine in Karonga.

“We looked at the contract and it didn’t benefit Malawians. We want mining sector to benefit people in the country,” President Mutharika said.

In September last year, Malawi issued nine notices of termination to mining companies that failed to honour their license agreements. Government’s total loss suffered through non-payment of fees, ground rates and royalties amounted to an estimated USD 1.2 million or MWK 900 million.

President Masisi reassured the head of State, saying it was his hope that his country’s 40 years experience in the sector would assist Malawi to “never negotiate wrong” again.

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