The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Ministry Says Citizens Yet to Fully Benefit From Mining

The Ministry of Natural Resources believes though the mining sector in Rwanda is one of leading export earners, the local people are yet to enjoy the accruing benefits.

The Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Caroline Kayonga, made the observation yesterday at a consultative meeting on international practices for negotiations and drafting of investment contracts in the mining sectors, currently taking place in Kigali.

Kayonga, said their focus as a ministry is to fully understand how the extracting industry operates and the necessary contracts that are signed by the investors in this industry.

"Much as mining is one of our leading foreign exchange earners, there is no actual economic benefit for the citizens,' Kayonga explained.

She added that the ministry is working hand in hand with the Ministry of Finance, the Rwanda Revenue Authority and Rwanda Development Board to examine the legal, economic and global perspective in the mining industry.

The four-day workshop was organised by the International Senior Lawyers Project, Strategic Capacity Building Initiative in Partnership with Government of Rwanda and the Tony Blair African Governance Initiative.

Strategic Capacity Building Initiative is a project that is focused on capacity building in the mining sector in government's key priority areas of exploration, mining laws: that is framework and contract negotiation and drafting as well as mineral economics for both small and large scale mining.

Some of the key issues that the workshops seeks to address is Balancing investor profit return with benefit for citizens, the development of mining agreements that all inclusive, to discuss the general situation in the global mining and metal sector , the difficulty of negotiating large scale mining contracts among others.

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