Rwanda, Burundi in mining deal
Rwanda and Burundi are in the process of establishing an association that will bring together all players and government authorities in charge of mining to jointly develop the sector in the two countries.
The partnership deal aims at coordinating and strengthening the working relationship of the mining sector in both countries, according to the officials.
Recently, a delegation headed by Damien Mbonincyuye, Burundi’s Director of Mines and Quarries at the Ministry of Energy and Mines, completed a three-day visit during which they toured a number of mining sites in a bid to learn from their Rwandan counterparts.
Mbonincyuye and his team admitted that during the visit to Rwanda, they witnessed progress on issues regarding formalisation of artisan mining.
“In Rwanda, there is substantial progress as far as this issue is concerned. We have acquired important information about how to improve on our standards back home,” he said during a visit at Gifurwe Tungsten Mine in Burera district.
Mbonincyuye said his country has the ability to train geologists but lacks sufficient mining centres, where students can acquire practical techniques on how to build their careers.
Similarly, Elly Safari, the official in charge of Operations and Logistics at the Gifurwe Mine concurred that there is need to fast track the cooperation deal between the two countries most especially as the youngest members of the East African Community.
Burundi and Rwanda are partners within the framework of the Regional Initiative against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources (RINR).
The RINR integrates several tools, including formalisation of the artisan mining sector as well as strengthening mineral traceability management according to the standards of the Regional Certification Mechanism.
Rwanda, supported by several partners at the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has already made significant progress on these issues.
In the spirit of regional cooperation within the RINR, the progress in Rwanda shall be illustrated in Burundi through a Burundi-Rwanda technical exchange programme for key mining sector stakeholders.
This will help to support regional peer learning on responsible mining practice in the artisan mining sector of the Great Lakes region.
Contact email: sam.nkurunziza[at]newtimes.co.rw