Govt moves to cut mining companies imports

DODOMA: THE government has directed the Mining Commission to include a list of frequently imported products by mining companies in its procurement plan in a bid to retain hard earned foreign currency.

The mining companies spent over 3.1tri/- last financial year for purchasing various goods and services from abroad. Minister for Minerals, Anthony Mavunde, issued the directives during the opening session of the third mining forum in Arusha on Wednesday that was broadcast live by a local television.

He said at the forum focused on assessing implementation of measures to involve more Tanzanians in the mining sector, that that the move will enable majority of Tanzanians to benefit from the sector.

“This means that all mining companies made purchases of more than 3.1tri/- if these funds have remained in the country could brought about positive changes to individual Tanzanians, households and the national economy in general,” he said.

The Minister said that currently the government has directed more efforts in ensuring that majority of Tanzanians benefit from the mining sector.

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He called upon Tanzanians to seize the unique opportunity to participate in the growth and prosperity of Tanzania’s mining sector.

“As government, we are fully committed to guiding and supporting you in achieving this we are eager to see these 3.1tri/- are retained in the country,” Minister Mavunde said.

He further said that to date Tanzanians are proud of the government’s momentous decision to establish Buzwagi Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

“This transformative initiative marks a pivotal step towards unlocking the immense potential of our nation’s mineral resources and propelling Tanzania towards a brighter, more prosperous future. This area will have industries which will add value to the minerals and support mining activities in the country.’ He said Kahama area has been gazetted as special economic zone noting that there are 133 acres which awaits investors to establish various factories.

The Minister further noted that, to date eight global industry giants have expressed to invest in Kahama which will be unprecedented opportunity which aligns with the ministry’s objective of transforming Tanzania into the mining services hub in East and Central Africa.

He said Tanzania will soon witness numerous commodities being available in the country thus reducing the use of foreign currency in importing the products. He also urged Tanzanians to cultivate a culture of cooperation and support, abandoning the habit of envy and instead learning from each other and being ready to teach others.

“I argue you to build a culture of cooperation. Let the successful ones help others in need of help instead, of being jealous, and you cannot succeed by continuing to do this. If someone succeeds, go learn from them, and don’t be selfish and try to do everything alone,” he said.

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Minister Mavunde also called on financial institutions to support small-scale investors by providing them with low-interest loans. Their main challenge has been a lack of capital, and the goal is to enhance their capacity for improved efficiency.

Regarding the goal of strengthening the mining sector, Minister Mavunde stated that the government encourages in-depth research to achieve its targets.

This sector has contributed significantly to Tanzania’s economy and increased foreign currency. He stated that in the previous fiscal year, the government collected revenues amounting to 678 bn/- through the mining sector.

The value of trade conducted in the mineral purchasing centers and markets reached 1.7 tri/-. The sector also accounted for over 56 per cent of foreign exchange earnings, and mineral exports reached 3.1 billion US dollars, (equivalent to 7 tri/-).

Domestic income tax collected amounted to 2.1 tri/-, accounting for 15 per cent of total domestic revenue.

Moreover Mr Mavunde stated that the government plans to increase and enhance comprehensive research (High-Resolution Airborne Geophysical Survey) of minerals in the country, including the construction of a modern large-scale laboratory in Dodoma and the acquisition of a modern helicopter equipped with special equipment to cover larger areas.

The Vice Chairperson of the Parliamentary standing Committee on Energy and Minerals, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Kigoma Urban constituency Mr Kirumbe Ngenda, commended the government for strengthening the mining sector by increasing local content.

He emphasized the importance of providing Tanzanians with more skills and expanding the scope of service delivery, enabling them to benefit more.

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