100 Days in, my purpose remains the same: To serve

Today, as I mark my first 100 days in the Ministry of Minerals, I would like to share some of my reflections, key achievements, and priorities of the Ministry. #100DaysInOffice.

Swearing-in Ceremony at the State House in Dar es Salaam

I was appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals by Her Excellency, President Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan on 26 February 2023, and sworn in the next day. Before this post, I was Deputy Permanent Secretary for Energy.

I am deeply grateful to the President for the opportunity to serve in her administration. I feel honoured and privileged to have the chance to work in the sector that makes an important contribution to our economy. Third quarter of last year, for instance, the mining sector had a 9.7% share of the GDP. On the first day in my new role, I vowed to myself that my purpose will be to serve. As I celebrate my first 100 days in office, I am more determined than before to serve our nation. For this reason, my purpose remains the same; to serve, to serve, to serve. This means taking time to listen to those above and below me, and to ferret out views from others. It also implies protecting and preserving the integrity of the government.

My onboarding experience at the Ministry began with an introductory meeting with staff members, called by Hon. Minister Dr. Doto Mashaka Biteko. I marveled his vast knowledge of the sector, detailed approach to realising the goals of the Ministry, as well as keen insight and profound wisdom.

As I said before, my purpose is to serve. This drive makes me view everyone as a customer; from small-scale miners to colleagues and those in highest authority. I believe that every actor has their own role to play in amplifying the sector’s contribution to development. I personally place the highest priority on the private sector, and so is the Ministry. I believe Investors should be treated as voters. We need to provide them with favorable environment for them to ‘vote’ on critical business decisions whose result is to create new jobs leading to more inclusive growth. I am pleased and proud to say that I have received good cooperation so far from private actors, such as the Tanzania Chamber of Mines, for which I am grateful but also determined to building and maintaining this relationship.

Turning to highlights of my first months at the Ministry:
First, we revived the discussion with development partners on financing the mining projects across the country. Second, we migrated to electronic communication and information creation. A software solution, e-Office, is used to share information, conduct business, and manage documents. This pushes forward the green growth agenda by the government as per the commitment made by Her Excellency President Samia at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27). Among others, Tanzania committed to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future (net-zero commitment). This includes reducing printing and postage emissions to help reach carbon-neutral goals.#NetZero.

Third, we laid the foundation for a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the mining sectors in Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. The MoU, which aims at strengthening, reconciling and formalizing systems among the sectors, will be signed later this month (June 2023). #Union.

Fourth, we initiated the process to recruit an expert who will support development of a ten-year mining strategy for the country. This will compliment other development plans whilst setting specific objectives for maximizing development outcomes of mineral resources exploitation. #10YearMiningCountryStrategy.

Fifth, we engaged a number of stakeholders, large and small, to get a better understanding of their concerns and find ways to address them. For instance, for the first time, we hosted a dinner on 2nd June 2023, which was attended by business leaders from large-scale mining corporations. We organized and attended a similar event for small miners (the Federation of Miners’ Associations of Tanzania -FEMATA), the afternoon of the same day. #StakeholdersEngagement.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Mr Kheri Mahimbali with Managing Director of Geita Gold Mining Limited, Terry Strong.

Sixth, we addressed some of the mining tax issues that investors faced in the last two years. In some cases, these challenges were an impediment to big miners in their quest to raise capital in the global markets. We will continue to work closely with our key stakeholders and government agencies in order to improve the tax regime in the mining industry. #TaxRegime.

Seventh, we held discussions on leveraging partnerships for sustainable mining with representatives from various diplomatic missions in Tanzania. We touched upon quite a few topics, ranging from government-government opportunities to capacity development opportunities. To this end, the Government of India has committed to offer 400 scholarships for which we are very grateful. We hope other developing partners will follow suit. #DevelopmentPartners.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Mr Kheri Mahimbali with India High Commissioner to Tanzania,Mr Binaya Srikanta Pradhan

Before I conclude, I must place on record, working alongside a visionary leader such as Hon. Minister Dr. Doto Mashaka Biteko made my work professionally rewarding. The company and support that I received from the Deputy Minister Steven Kiruswa, and Deputy Permanent Secretary Msafiri Mbibo was immense. The trio created an excellent working environment which, among other things, allowed cross fertilization of ideas at all times. Indeed, it is a pleasure working with them. On a similar vein, I acknowledge the overwhelming support that I received and continue to receive from all staff. Each in his own way, has inspired me to see possibilities and potential, plus to learn and do more. #TeamWork.

Staff from the Ministry of Minerals outside the Parliament of Tanzania during 2023\2024 budget session

As we look to the future, we will continue engaging our key stakeholders including our Ambassadors overseas. Before the end of the second quarter, we plan to have conference calls with them by regional representation. Meantime, our priority areas at the Ministry include implementing the annual plan and budget for 2023/2024; developing and executing the ten-year country mining strategy; conducting the high-resolution airborne geophysical survey; and performing exploration and large-scale mining.

#TanzaniaMining #Mining4Development #MadiniYetu #Kheri100DaysBold #CentennialLeadership

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