Session 7: Minerals value chains: Upstream and beneficiation
Copper, as Zambia's economic mainstay, is a mineral whose value chain stretches beyond the country's Copperbelt Province and the recently acclaimed “New Copperbelt” Northwestern Province. The Copperbelt Province as the mining hub has several industries benefiting from both upward and downward linkages in the Sub-Saharan African market and other regions globally. Despite the challenges associated with mining and mining economies being real, Zambia needs to learn from countries within the Southern African region such as South Africa and those in other continents such as Chile in order to have a formidable escape strategy from the “natural resource-curse phenomenon”. With such a strategy, stronger industrial linkages at home as well as improved contribution to regional industrialization are possible. Ultimately, this can strengthen economic growth and usher the country into a stage where beneficiation from the mines go beyond the local value chain debate but the entire nation as people see the tangible fruits of economic growth positively impacting human development indicators. The reality in the economic indicators would then truly reflect the reality on the ground among ordinary Zambians as is the case in Chile.