Gov't Urged to Transform Mining Sector

Addis Ababa September 14/2012 Stakeholders from the mining sectors urged the government to transform the sector to enhance export earnings.

The stakeholders voiced today their concerns at a half-day workshop held in Addis Ababa with the Export Sector Coordinating Committee under the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Mining and Petroleum to discuss hurdles in the sector.

The workshop is aimed at identifying the major bottlenecks observed in the sector that hinders the development of the mining sector.

The inputs gathered from the discussion are said to be presented to the Prime Minister for further discussion.

Problems being observed in the supply and transaction of mining products were presented by the Ethiopian Mineral, Petroleum and Bio-fuel Corporation at the workshop.

According to the presentation, remoteness of most of sources of mining products and lack of access to transportation, water, health, education and other social facilities in those areas make the situation difficult for producers.

Limited supply of extracting technologies, lack of technical as well as financial support for traditional mining extractors in particular and for all producers in general, and illegal mining are said to be some of the major problems observed in the sector.

Lack of incentives from the government, limited market access, and unable to add value to the products are also among the bottlenecks recognized by the Corporation.

Managing Director of Orbit Ethiopia Mining Company, Tewodros Sintayehu agreed on the problems presented by the Ethiopian Mineral, Petroleum and Bio-fuel Corporation.

Noting the flourishing of illegal mining, he said that legal companies are being pushed by illegal actors in the sector due to various reasons.

Lack of infrastructure, which he said is hindering companies from using their full potential, whereas giving the upper hand for illegal actors.

He said lack of infrastructure and engagement of illegal miners, his company has forced to operate under its capacity. Currently it is using 20 percent of its capacity in producing value added mining products.

Saying that this is a common problem in the sector, Tweodros urges the Ministry to review the way it administers the sector.

Chairperson of the Export Sector Coordinating Committee, Girma Biru said the government has given due emphasis for the mining sector as it is a major source of employment, export earnings and input for the growing industries in the country.

He added that the issues raised by the participants will be submitted to the Prime Minister for further discussion.

Ethiopia has gained 48.938 million USD from the sector in the last Ethiopian fiscal year, and it is planned to get 265 million USD this year.

Ethiopian News Agency