By Geoffrey Wakibi
The Rwanda Mining Association (RMA) is an employers’ professional organization in the mining sector that was created in March 2012 and got legal status in August 2012.
Operating under the auspices of the Private Sector Federation (PSF), RMA is composed of big concessions belonging to foreign investors represented by Rwanda Mining Investment Forum (RMIF), cooperatives represented by FECOMIRWA as well as medium and individuals’ companies.
RMA was formed to professionalize the sector and take advantage of the many opportunities thereof, especially through advocacy and the sharing of experiences and best practices within the mining sector. RMA’s major mandate lies in advocacy on key policy and legal issues, providing training and capacity building programs, facilitating responsible mining as well as promoting Rwanda’s mining sector. The Association also helps its members to comply with national, regional and international regulatory requirements.
The government of Rwanda is presently showing dedication to turn the private sector into a fundamentally imperative engine for sustainable development.
RMA currently advocates for about 400 companies where high quality engagement and significant influence have been realized. The main minerals mined and traded in Rwanda are cassiteriterite, coltan, wolfram, gold and gemstones like traumaline, salphire among others.
Today, Rwanda’s mining sector is considered the second foreign exchange earner after tourism; it has been growing at a rate of at least 10% every year since 1999. The sector is projecting to reach US $400 million by the year 2017, currently employing more than 37,000 people, targeting 60,000 by 2018.