TANZANIA Bankers' Association (TBA) assured the government yesterday of its full support on developing the mining sector.
TBA Chairman Abdulmajid Nsekela assured the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa of the banking sector keenness on developing the sector including lending and educating artisanal miners.
"Today is a historic day in our country," Mr Nsekela, who is also the CEO of CRDB Bank, said during the launching of Geita Gold Exchange Market-t he first in East Africa.
Mr Nsekela said: "The inauguration of the Geita Gold Exchange Market shades a new light to mining sector and I believe it will be a one stop centre for selling and buying gold."
TBA Chairman said the market will not only increase government revenue but also store correct gold data to eliminate sexing data that in recently days became norm of the day.
He said the banking sector recognised the good effort the Magufuli's government is doing on improving the mining sector through a number of regulations and laws.
He also added that the banking sector recognised the importance of miners and mineral traders on their contributions to the growth of economy. Thus banks have come up with various tailor-made products to address mining stakeholders' needs.
"There are all reasons to continue further to formalise artisanal miners to enable banks to enrol them into formal financial sector," Mr Nsekela said.
The TBA Chairman also told the PM to direct foreign mining companies to open local account.
The move will increase liqui dity in the market hence increase lenders ability to loan more. Meanwhile CRDB officially launched its special branch at the gold exchange dubbed ' Geita Dhahabu Service Centre'.
The centre also offers bureau de change services. The PM asked banks to consider lowering interest rate so as to let many artisanal miners to borrow and qui ckening the small-scale mining activities.
"Banks should lower interest to artisanal miners in a bid to stimulate the sector and become more productive," Mr Majaliwa said. Other banks that have opened services at the exchange market are NMB and Azania.
According to the Federation of Miners Association of Tanzania (FEMATA), there are more than six million small-scale miners across Tanzania.
The key gold mining areas in the country are Geita, Mwanza, Shinyanga, Mbeya and Mara. Geita accounts for almost 35 per cent of Tanzania's gold output.