Rwanda, Zimbabwe ink mining deal

The governments of Rwanda and Zimbabwe have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed to spur business and private sector investments in the mining sector.  

The deal was signed yesterday in Harare.

Specifically, Kigali and Harare are keen on collaborating in training, exchange resources management experiences as well as share expert employment in the mining sector.

Unprocessed gold being weighted at Aldango Gold Refinery at the Kigali Special Economic Free Zone on June 18, 2019. Emmanuel Kwizera.

Francis Gatare, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board described the deal as an example of the implementation of the Africa mining vision through cooperation in resources management.

Adopted by the African Union in 2009, the vision roots for a knowledge-driven African mining sector that catalyzes and contributes to the broad-based growth and development of a single African market.

He added that for the two countries to achieve their mining goals, they needed sufficient private sector investment and participation.

Winston Chitando, Zimbabwe’s minister for mines and mining development, looked at the deal as one which allows Zimbabwe to tap best practices from Rwanda’s small scale mining sector as well as strengthening economic cooperation between the two nations.

“We would like the two ministries…to share expertise to capacitate the respective ministries and other institutions in the mining space to develop the potential which exists in the two countries,” he said. “We also would like to cooperate and enhance the production of minerals in the two countries and our colleagues in Rwanda have very interesting experiences in the development of the small scale (mining) sector and we also would like to share those experiences.”

Rwanda’s nascent mining industry has been dominated by tin, tantalum, and tungsten.

However, over the last two years, the sector has been diversified to include other minerals, particularly gemstones, gold, and industrial minerals.

Rwanda’s mineral exports generated $399 million in the 2017-2018 financial year, from 7,000 tonnes, according to government statistics.

Zimbabwe's mining industry is focused on a diverse range of small to medium mining operations.

The most important minerals produced by Zimbabwe include gold, asbestos, chromite, coal and base metals. The mining industry contributes approximately 8 percent towards the country's GDP.