Regional experts in the mining sector yesterday highlighted major regulations that must be considered if this activity is to boost economies of African countries.
The recommendations were made at the closure of a three-day consultative meeting that aimed at identifying the extent to which mining regimes can contribute to sustainable development.
According to the Director of the East and Central Africa Sub Regional Office for East Africa, Antonio Pedro, mining regimes that provide a lasting legacy are those that generate equitable revenue to concerned parties.
“These systems promote transparent, efficient use and deployment of mineral wealth but also open up opportunities to entrench linkages between the mining sector and the local economy.
“As such, they also expand infrastructure, knowledge and skills base while facilitating social community development,” Pedro said.
The official also noted that good mining systems are those that “encourage local value addition and beneficiation, and ultimately help to build forms of capital to contribute to the formation of strong, resilient, diversified and competitive economies.”
The Director General of the Rwanda Geology and Mining Office, Dr. Michael Biryabarema, noted that the concept of sharing ideas at such a forum enables Rwanda to forge a clearer way forward as regards boosting the sector.
“We have a young mining sector, so by sharing experiences with colleagues in other countries, it helps us design a better legal framework, build capacities and attract greater investment potential so that this sector can become a major driver of economic development,” Biryabarema told The New Times.
According to officials, the sector contributed 40 percent to Rwanda’s export earnings last year.
Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Energy and Mines, Adam Kighoma Ali Malima, also emphasized that if such forums on mining had been held 40 years ago, Africa would be a different continent today.
Malima noted that a recent study conducted by experts of the International Study Group released a framework report on mining regimes in Africa.
Issues highlighted in the report such as lack of capacity in the sector and emphasis on environmental protection will be addressed by each country’s government.
Participants came from Eritrea, Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, Djibouti and other international organizations.