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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Mining firms in Zambia call for stable fiscal and regulatory regime

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Mining firms in Zambia on Wednesday called for a stable fiscal and regulatory regime in order to spur the industry to higher growth.

The mining firms said stability in the fiscal and regulatory regime complimented with a few more non-cash actions such as restoring working capital tied up in value added tax will go a long way in position Zambia’s mining industry for double digit growth.

Nathan Chishimba, president of the Zambia Chamber of Mines, an association representing foreign mining firms operating in Africa’s number two producer of copper, said Zambia’s mining industry could grow and produce 1 million tons of copper per year and then further upward to 1.5 million tons per year within the next six years with a stable fiscal and regulatory regime.

According to him, stability in the fiscal and regulatory regime was capable of positioning Zambia as one of the primary destinations for much needed investment in operations and development of new projects which will not only expand the mining sector but create more opportunities to expand revenue for the treasury and economic opportunity in other industries.

“Growth is the most sustainable and inclusive means to meet the expectations of all stakeholders over time via measurable progress and increasing tax contribution to the government. We are confident that stability in the fiscal and regulatory regime for mining complimented with a few non-cash actions such as restoring working capital tied up in value added tax refunds will go a long way in positioning the Zambian mining industry for double digit growth,” he said in a statement.

He further called on the government to take measures to encourage local people and local institutions to invest in exploration by offering them tax rebates as one way to enhance local ownership.

The mining firms, he said, were committed to a principle of constructive engagement with the government to ensure that mining was carried on in a responsible and sustainable manner at all levels.

“We believe this is the basis on which a very healthy level of mutual trust and confidence has been cultivated, that has seen some relative stability in the regulatory environment for mining in Zambia in recent years,” he added. 

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Zambian gov’t says digital migration requires new policy and law

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government said on Wednesday that the southern African nation should urgently respond to the immediate needs in the process of digital migration in broadcasting by introducing a new law and policy.

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dora Siliya further said there was need for the media and the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to be converged.

This, she said, will help in bridging the gaps that existed in the sector.

The Zambian minister was speaking when she paid a courtesy call on her Kenyan counterpart Joseph Mucheru in Nairobi, according to a statement released by her ministry.

The Zambian minister, who is accompanied by Parliamentary Chairperson for Media, Information and Communication Technologies Rogers Mwewa is in Kenya for a two-day benchmarking tour of digital migration, and also visited the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, the statement added.

She said the benchmarking tour on digital migration in Kenya has been insightful as it has offered Zambia best practices on implementing the digital migration process.

The Zambian minister further said there was need for the government to encourage private sector growth in the broadcasting sector.

On his part, the Kenyan minister said Kenya has in the past experienced several challenges in the sector because most components of the segment were fragmented.

He said putting all media and ICTs components under one umbrella has made things easy in the implementation of the digital migration process.

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Zambian leader calls for increased funding to fight cervical cancer in Africa

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Tuesday called for increased funding to the fight against cervical cancer as the disease poses a great challenge to women and girls especially in Africa.

The Zambian leader said enough resource allocation to the fight against the disease was required as countries that bore the brunt of the disease burden also faced logistical, financial, structural and social challenges in providing comprehensive cervical cancer control.

“These include bottlenecks in pathology services to facilitate cancer diagnosis which need to be expanded, surgery for early disease, limited chemo radiation therapy treatment centers, among other challenge,” he said in remarks delivered at a high-level meeting on cervical cancer on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly currently underway in New York, the United States, according to a statement released by the country’s health ministry.

According to him, cervical cancer affects over half a million women and kills a quarter of a million in the same period every year, adding that about 34 out of 100,000 women are diagnosed with the disease and that 23 out of every 100,000 women die from the disease every year in sub-Saharan Africa.

Zambia, he said, has one of the world’s highest rates of invasive cervical cancer incidence at 58 per 100,000 and a mortality rate of 36 per 100,000 every year.

While applauding the World Health Organization (WHO) for making a call to action for the elimination of the disease globally, the Zambian leader made an earnest appeal to pharmaceutical industries to consider lowering further the price of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine to increase immunization coverage for adolescents and also reduce the cost of chemotherapy drugs.

Meanwhile, Zambia’s Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya said a cervical cancer screening program the country has been undertaking has expanded to reach over 500,000 women.

The program, he said, was premised on screening, early detection, treatment and palliation, adding that the government has invested in a state-of-the-art cancer disease hospital, with four more radiotherapy centers earmarked for construction in high burden provinces.

           

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