Forbes has reported that President Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia has announced the cancellation of all tax concessions for copper mining companies operating in Zambia, saying they were 'unfair and unbalanced' and that in their place 'The government has, therefore, decided to introduce a new fiscal and regulatory regime in order to bring about equitable distribution of the mineral wealth.'
The change is dramatic. Without them mining firms would have earned US$4 billion in the 2008/9 financial year but would only have paid tax of US$300 million. Revenue is expected to rise to US$650 million after the change.
Christian Aid has been campaigning on this issue for some time, and I contributed to that work. It's fantastic to see a result and a fairer sharing of the wealth from this resource.
Change is possible - and the courage to make that change possible is also welcome in this case.