DESPITE eruption and spread of the novel coronavirus in the world, Tanzania has managed to maintain its position in a list of top five producers of gold in Africa.
This was said on Monday by the Vice-President, Samia Suluhu Hassan when gracing a three-day 2021 International Mineral and Mining Investment Conference taking place at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC).
She said the achievements are born out of proper management and supervision of the sector imposed by the government.
The government has taken a number of initiatives including making reforms to mining laws and increasing supervision and management of the mining sector to ensure that the country benefits from the available minerals.
“This has seen a continued increase in collection from the mining sector from 270bn/- in the financial year 2015/16 to 258bn/- in 2019/2020,” she said.
For the year 2020/21, the Ministry of Minerals was assigned to collect 526.7bn/- being an average of 43.89bn/- per month.
And a total of 360.74bn/- was collected between July 2020 and January 2021, an equivalent to 117 per cent of the target.
“I’m optimistic that the Ministry of Minerals will in this financial year surpass the target, since the trend has shown that, the effective management of mineral sector brings positive returns in government collections,” she added.
Mama Samia reiterated the government’s commitment to keep improving the sector, for the sake of promoting the welfare of small and medium scale miners--a move that would also guarantee an increase in government’s revenues.
“We are inviting more investors in the minerals sector, since Tanzania boasts a wealth of minerals that are yet to be explored... as the government, we shall continue putting in place a conducive environment for more investments,” she explained.
The Vice-President also spoke on the importance of environmental conservation and management in mining activities.
She said environmental conservation is key in ensuring better health of the people living near the mines, a role that has been well played by the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC).
Earlier, the Minister for Minerals, Mr Dotto Biteko asked players in the industry to continue being honest for both parties to benefit from the mining sector.
He said, the ministry would continue providing all the needed support for the sector to thrive, given the fact that the industry is highly dominated by the private sector.
“So far, 90 per cent of the sector is run by the private sector, so it’s a responsibility of the government officials to take care of them, to ensure the sustainability of their business,” he insisted.
The minister insisted that the government would continue to plug all loopholes that lead to mineral smuggling, warning that strong measures will be taken against those, who will be taking part in smuggling of the country’s minerals.
“A total of 102 incidents of mineral smuggling were recorded where a total of 6,000 karat of gold, 163 kilogrammes of minerals worth US dollar 20 million were seized by the government,” he said.
Going forward, the minister invited foreign traders to Tanzania’s mineral marketing centres since there is a good system of buying and selling the minerals.
The minister further noted that the government is highly determined to promote investment opportunities found in the country's mining sector.
The conference goes under the theme; ‘Mining Sector for Stable Economy and Sustainable Development’.
Meanwhile, the Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan said the Ministry of Minerals is finalising arrangements of introducing mineral tourism in the country as part of continued efforts to expand the market of the available gemstones.
“Plans are underway for Tanzania to have a mineral tourism,” she insisted.
Completion of the plan will see all the information regarding the mineral sector in Tanzania being displayed and shared to the domestic and international tourists.
“This will also serve as a platform for the government to share the contribution of Tanzania mineral sector to the world,” she revealed.