The event took place at the EPZA Bombambili grounds in the city of Geita.
Commissioner for Local Content, Janeth Lukeshingo, reports a surge in job opportunities, procurement of goods and services from Tanzanians, along with progress in technology transfer and research that has improved the comprehension of Tanzanian involvement in the mining sector.
Rewald Tenga, the Local Business Development Specialist at Geita Gold Mining Limited (GGML), affirms a 90% implementation of the law.
“We comply with all procurement and employment regulations, and we maintain a local content rate between 60 and 90 percent,” affirms Tenga.
Recently, AngloGold Ashanti, the parent company of GGML, awarded a two-year oil transportation contract worth approximately Shs25 billion per year to two local Tanzanian contractors. One of these was Blue Coast Investment Limited, a Geita-based firm with focus on transportation and logistics.
Managing Director of Blue Coast, Ndahilo Athanas stated that they commenced doing business with GGML in 2021 and have observed a steady improvement in the company’s prospects.
He expressed thanks to the Government for recognizing the importance of the law and passing it, but he is even more grateful to President Samia Suluhu Hassan for overseeing its implementation.
According to Athanas, GGML has greatly contributed to their progress and played a crucial role in helping them achieve their quality standards.
“They have provided us with sufficient training on the importance of quality and methods to maintain a sustainable business,” says Athanas.
He affirms that their operations adhere to national and international standards, and they possess a safety at work certification and a quality of work certification. Currently, they are in the process of acquiring a registration for quality in environmental management.
The director reports that the company has hired in the region of 400 employees for formal and informal jobs, benefitting the residents of Geita and surrounding regions. This has led to a notable increase in numbers, up to 580 from 220 in 2021.
Additionally, they aim to provide training on-the-job to enhance the capabilities of young individuals prior to offering them permanent positions, particularly those who have graduated from university.
“To date, over 50 young people have successfully secured employment across a range of fields, including accountancy, supply management, automotive mechanics, operations, and more,” he reports.
The director states that the company has received the Geita Region’s best taxpayer award. Local content played a significant role in achieving this accolade and ultimately resulted in the company’s classification as one of the largest taxpayers in the country.
Ako Group is a company that provides a range of facilities management services, including catering. It is one of the local firms that contracted with GGML in 2010.
The owner and Chairman of the company, Silvestry Koka, stated that they initially provided food services to GGML. During that time, GGML was acquiring cooking products and other supplies from Dar es Salaam.
Koka also mentions that they worked on enhancing the livelihoods of the people in all the areas in which the mine is operating.
He states that Ako takes pride in supporting an economic chain within the mine area community, where locals are now successfully producing and selling various products such as vegetables and fruits.
“We have been purchasing a significant proportion, despite procuring some products from outside of Geita.” However, their ultimate objective is to source 100 percent of their products from the areas surrounding the mine.
We use meat, rice, fruits and vegetables. For instance, there is a group known as the NYAKABALE Commercial group that supplies us with meat, fruits, and vegetables. Additionally, our supplier called Masuka has been providing rice to us for over eight years.
Koka promotes the management and empowerment of local service providers, while maintaining high standards.
He suggests that the downfall of several indigenous businesses is due to their tendency to undermine one another, which negatively impacts the country’s economic stability.
THE CONCEPT OF LOCAL CONTENT
According to Professor Idris Kikula, Chairman of the Mining Commission, the concept of local content was unknown when the Commission was set up.
“We were insulted about local content because some people did not understand it, but we have now reached the point where it is more accepted,” he said.
He said beneficiaries are urged to maintain their focus on delivering high-quality services to fully realise the benefits of local content and create sustainable advantages for the entire nation.
The Member of Parliament for Geita Urban, Costantine Kanyasu (CCM) commends the Government for effectively implementing the amendment of the law, leading to visible benefits.
“Since the Local Content policy came into effect, the community’s resentment has dwindled, with increased participation in the sale and distribution of products from multiple mines,” reports Kanyasu.
Geita Regional Commissioner, Martin Shigela recommends that the knowledge acquired from applying the local content principles in the mining industry should be extended to other sectors.
“We will enhance Tanzanians’ knowledge and perception, allowing greater participation in other sectors,” Shigela stated.
Anthony Mavunde, the Minister of Mines, who participated as an official guest at the conference, highlights that Tanzanian involvement has grown considerably in the mining sector in a short time.
“We have come to realise the urgency of implementing necessary changes as local content significantly impacts the livelihoods and of Tanzanians. As a result, we are beginning to witness positive outcomes,” affirms Mavunde.
“Professor Kikula, your admirable stewardship of the Local Content Act has earned you deep respect among Tanzanians, especially the mining industry stakeholders,” concludes Mavunde.