Tanzania to chair minerals council


Addis Ababa. Tanzania has been elected chair of the Governing Council of African Minerals and Geosciences Centre (AMGC) during its 36th annual meeting in Addis Ababa.

Tanzania was represented by the Permanent Representative to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca) and its ambassador to Ethiopia, Ms Naimi Hamza Aziz, who attended the meeting on behalf of the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo.

Addressing the council, Ms Aziz urged member states to consider the development of other strategic minerals such as graphite, lithium and rare earth elements (REEs), which she said were not only economically viable but also important.

“The mining sector is seriously affected by the drop of mineral prices in the global market especially for precious and base metals which are mostly mined by our countries. The decline of mineral prices has resulted to low exploration activities to member states, especially my country, which has led to the decline of income to the centre,” she said.

In order for member states to catch up with fast growing technologies, the ambassador said it was time for AMGC invested in research and development.

Ms Aziz said that member states should endeavour to make AMGC a truly pan African centre of excellence and to achieve this more needs be done in terms of marketing, which would increase the centre’s visibility and capability and promote the tremendous work it does.

“It is therefore crucial that member states pay their respective annual contributions to the centre in order to allow it to operate more efficiently and effectively and successfully implement its programmes and activities.”

In his opening speech, the outgoing AMGC chairman, who is also Ethiopia’s Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Tolesa Shagi, said Ethiopia and many African countries were adopting effective mineral management policies and strategies for the exploitation of mineral resources which were vital in boosting economic growth.

“The mining sector in Ethiopia is providing support for the development of small and medium scale and artisanal mining enterprises and encourage greater participation of women in mining activities as a strategy for enhancing the development impact of mineral resources,” he said.

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