The three year Euro 4.2 million (about Rwf4.2bilion) programme commenced in April 2017 and aims to strengthen the positive impact of Rwanda mining sector on national economic growth, as well as improving the incomes and livelihoods of mining communities.
It is being implemented by a consortium led by CARDNO Emerging Markets (UK) Ltd as the major coordinating body, supported by Projekt Consult on technical services, Pact World—an NGO that caters for social enhancement programmes and the Rwanda Women In/And Mining Organization (WIAMO), an NGO that focuses on gender issues.
Speaking at the official launch of the programme yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer of RMB, Francis Gatare said that through partners, the country is doing its best to increase mining productivity.
He said that in the past the mining sector was hampered by artisan mining practices, low and volatile prices of minerals at international markets.
Gatare said that the programme will help to address different challenges presented by lack of skilled personnel that have for long undermined development of the sector.
“Mining sector might have contributed enough to the development of the country but it was not possible due to less skilled practitioners and traditional tools,” he said adding that low investments were yet another challenge.
Gatare said that the country has invested huge resources to promote Rwanda’s minerals at the international market.
“Today, investors have realized this sector’s potential which is why we have entered this partnership to facilitate them along the process,” he added.
The team leader of Economic Growth at DFID Rwanda office, Kato Kimbugwe said that they have been supporting efforts around trade and other private sector development activities that support economic development in Rwanda.
“The decline in terms of global prices hit the industry very hard, but I think it also exposed the opportunity to reform the sector in such a way that when global mineral prices rebound, Rwanda will be in position to maximize the potential within the sector” he said.
“I think for us it is important to take a step in addressing particular sector that has thousands of people who are working in it. The market failure has not allowed these people to benefit from it but I think that coming in and working together with the government and understand where it wants to take the sector and assist them with technical support will help the sector restructuring in a way it will benefit a thousands of people” he explained.
RMB says that Rwanda earns $200 million from minerals exports but through the partnership the country will be able to earn $1.5 billion in 2024.