President Banda Urges African Leaders to Fight Exploitation

Dec 15, 2010, 13:06 ET from Statehouse, Lusaka, Zambia

LUSAKA, Zambia, December 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- His Excellency, Mr. Rupiah Banda, President of the Republic of Zambia, today called on leaders from across Africa to assist in the fight against the illegal exploitation of natural resources.

As Chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), President Banda is leading today's summit, which takes place in Lusaka. The objective is to examine the problems associated with exploiting natural resources, which has been a primary concern of the conference throughout 2010. With Zambia's strong focus on mining, ensuring a transparent and effective mining sector has been a central plank of the current government's manifesto.

"This summit is the best way to eradicate the scourge of illegal exploitation of, and trade in, natural resources. Our aim is to achieve sustainable peace, security, stability and development in our region," the President said.

President Banda added: "We are all aware that our regional initiative can achieve its expected results only if it is complemented by other existing regional and international initiatives. For this reason, the ICGLR will collaborate with other regional organisations to ensure that its initiative complements other endeavours to tackle this problem."

Several Heads of State and Government attended the opening of the summit whose member states have already launched a regional initiative to fight the illegal exploitation of natural resources.

The Eleven Heads of State and Government of the ICGLR came together in 2004 and have since worked to resolve conflicts and instill governance and accountability across the Great Lakes Region

ICGLR Member States are: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Soudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

SOURCE Statehouse, Lusaka, Zambia