plans are underway to establish a Mining Technology (MinTech) hub in Zambia-UNDP


Cape Town – 1st May 2024

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says plans are underway to establish a Mining Technology (MinTech) hub in Zambia, with an investment exceeding US$ 6 million.

This state-of-the-art facility will serve as a centre for innovation and collaboration in the mining sector, with a focus on leveraging technology to improve sustainability, efficiency, and safety in mining operations.

Speaking on the side-lines on the Timbuktoo Retreat Strategy which was held at Vergenoegd Low Estate Cape town, South Africa on Monday, UNDP Regional Director for Africa Ahunna Eziakonwa said Zambia was initially not included on the countries to benefit from the investment but that it was after meeting President Hakainde Hichilema over a month ago that a decision was made to extend the initiative to Zambia.

Ms. Eziakonwa says President Hichilema’s commitment towards making Zambia an industrial hub and the potential the country has in mining changed UNDP’s course of action and that this is important to the growth of the mining sector not only in Zambia, but on the continent as a whole.

“Zambia was initially not on the list but that meeting with the President changed the story because we were able to see that Zambia was actually ready to become part of this club because of the capacity that we see in the mining sector and the potential and the opportunity for Zambia to become a Centre of Excellence for Africa to really understand how to get more value out of its mineral resources.

We are talking about critical minerals that will power electric vehicles and decarbonise the future. That is why UNDP decided that we would promote the idea of Zambia becoming part of the team. Every hub needs some kind of infrastructure so are working with partners to support investing in the construction and the equipment that is required for the hub to take off. We will front a lot of technical capacities that are needed and we will bring in some equipment and we hope the private sector, particularly those in the mining sector, will come on board because this will benefit them hugely,” Ms. Eziakonwa said.

And Technology and Science Minister Hon. Felix Mutati says the establishment of a MinTech hub in Zambia is in line with the Government’s policy on promoting value addition.

“We are the major producers of a variety of minerals but specifically copper. Our policy has always been value addition to the minerals we produce and we want to take that value addition to produce EV batteries and that requires technology and research. Therefore, the MinTech hub will create solutions in the mining sector that will enhance productivity and help the country realise its full benefits from its rich mineral resource,” Hon. Mutati said.

Meanwhile, former Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Zambia has shown tremendous leadership in the mining sector and the establishment of a mining hub will leverage existing investments in the sector.

Prof. Osinbajo notes that this presents a huge opportunity to Zambian young innovators to service the mining sector.

The mine tech hub will bring together stakeholders from the Government, industry, academia, and civil society to share knowledge, develop solutions, and promote best practices in the mining sector.

It will also provide training and capacity-building programs to support the adoption of new technologies and practices.

Through the establishment of the mine tech hub, the UNDP aims to support Zambia’s efforts to promote sustainable development in the mining sector and contribute to the country’s economic growth and diversification.

This is contained in a statement issued by first Secretary for Press and public relations at Zambia’s High Commission in South Africa Tamara Nyirenda.

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