Rwanda: MPs Task Govt to Expedite Mineral Revenue Sharing With Communities

26 November 2020

The Chamber of Deputies has tasked the government to accelerate the implementation of a proposal to share a percentage of proceeds from minerals with communities living near mining sites.

The request stems from the Cabinet decision of September 13, 2016, which resolved that 10 per cent of the mineral revenues to districts be used for development projects in areas where mining activities are carried out.

The Chamber's plenary sitting on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, resolved that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning should indicate to it, within three months, how the proposal was implemented.

The issue was the subject of debate during the adoption of a report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony.

MPs said that during their countrywide tour from March 03 to 13, to assess the execution of the national budget in the first half of the 2019/2020 fiscal year, they discovered that the mineral revenue-sharing model has not yet been implemented.

Omar Munyaneza, the Chairperson of the Committee, explained that when the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning was summoned to respond to the issue, he explained that the decision was delayed because effective modalities of implementation were still being considered.

For instance, he said, the Minister indicated that in the financial year of 2019/2020, only Rwf670 million was collected from 17 mining sites.

The government is in the process of identifying the "poorest" districts, yet produce a lot of minerals, where it can implement development projects using proceeds from mining activities.

Rutsiro, Ngororero, Gakenke, Rulindo, and Gatsibo districts have been earmarked to benefit from the initiative.

The mining sector generated somewhere around $412 million from mineral exports in 2019, according to the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.

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