Human Right and Legal Empowerment Program
Context analysis on Tanzania mining Sector
Tanzania is a country endowed with substantial reserves of mineral resources, including: (I) metallic minerals group (gold, iron ore, nickel, copper, cobalt and silver), (ii) gemstone groups (diamond, tanzanite, ruby, garnets), (iii) industrial minerals group (limestone, soda ash, gypsum, salt and phosphate), (iv) energy-generating minerals (coal and uranium) and (v) construction minerals (gravel, sand and dimension stones. Tanzania is Africa’s fourth leading gold producer, after Ghana, South Africa and Mali with several major and junior companies producing and exploring for gold, mostly inNorthwestern Tanzania, south of Lake Victoria, in an area informally known as the LakeVictoria gold belt Mining in Tanzania in the modern era dates back over one hundred years, first under German colonial rule; during the First World War a number of military engagements took place there. Shortly after achieving independence from the British, in 1961, Tanzania veered left, leading to the nationalization of most private sector industries, inturn resulting in the inevitable a mass exodus of foreign investment and private capitaland the consequent decline in economic activity in all sectors, including mining.
Beginning in the 1990’s, in line with many other developing countries around the world Tanzanian government instituted several reforms to return to a free market economy, privatize and encourage both domestic and foreign investment in all economic sectors. In the case of the mining industry, in 1998, through the passage of a, industry friendly mining code. However, this success has not come without its own set of concerns and a sense of disgruntlement amongst Key stakeholders, there is a feeling that the mining sector could be contributing much more to the national exchequer than it currently is. The legislative and legal regimes around the mining sector, it is argued, seem to lean more towards encouraging foreign investment than to promoting and safeguarding the interests of the wider Tanzanian population.
There are also concerns over the harmful impacts of the industry on the environment and politics. Moreover, the fraught issues of the livelihoods of those people who have been moved from their homes and farms to give way to mining activities remain unresolved. Furthermore, there is little or no evidence to show that the increase in theExtraction of the country’s natural resources has actually contributed to a reduction in poverty level there has been no mechanism for protection of the rights of the communities who have been affected through large mining projects. The communities have not been involved in all the stages in the mining project cycles and lack the power to intervene.
Lack of skills on the mining sectors, has also been seen as a big challenge to small scale miners. Most miners lack the technical know-how to improve their capacity in this specialized economic area. As a matter of fact most activities to support mining sectors have focused on large scale mining operations, mainly to improve their productivity, legal status or environmental performance. As a result the small scale miners earn very little raw materials.
Rationale for the Program Human Rights and Legal empowerment program target to strengthen the capacity of communities and small scale miners to exercise their rights as to how to improve or transform their social, political or economic situations this will be done through training of paralegals to strengthen their legal skills.
Human Rights and Legal empowerment program work for grass root justice to Small Scale Miners and Community around the mining areas to ensure that law is not confined to books, but rather is available and meaningful to ordinary people. Human rights and Legal empowerment approaches focuses on understanding how to use laws and human rights instruments to advance interests and priorities of the marginalized small scale miners and communities affected by mining.
The program is focusing on strengthening among others the following:
- Access to information/right to information
- Right to own property and livelihoods (land right and Mineral rights)
- Right to participation and association
- Right to life
The Human Rights and legal Empowerment Program outcomes include:
- Informed and empowered Small Scale miners and communities
- Improved access to justice for communities affected by mining
- Laws, policies and practices that protect and advance the rights of small scale miners
- Effective social and economic structures and system that support Small scale miner’s livelihood in Tanzania.