Neglected Mining Sector Among Critical Economic Sectors of Ethiopia at Present: Mines Minister - ENA English
Neglected Mining Sector Among Critical Economic Sectors of Ethiopia at Present: Mines Minister
Addis Ababa, November 25, 2023 (ENA):The mining sector, which lacked the priority it deserves, has now become one of the critical economic sectors of Ethiopia, Mines Minister Habtamu Tegegn told ENA.
Ethiopia is, therefore, working towards exploiting its untapped mineral resources, he added.
As part of the effort, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed opened yesterday the Second Annual Mining and Technology Expo along with high-level government officials.
The five-day expo aims at promoting the sector by attracting investors in mining and technology providers and is believed to showcase Ethiopia's mining potential and stimulate investment in the sector.
Following the opening of a conference which is part of the expo today, the minster said the meeting with stakeholders targeted to create the opportunity to know the potential of Ethiopia’s mining sector and its mineral resources.
Scholars, international companies engaged in research and exploration of minerals, government officials, and regional state officials attended the mining conference.
Up until recently, the sector has not been given the priority it deserves, Habtamu noted, adding that it has now become one of the critical economic sectors given huge priority by the government.
For the minister, identifying and knowing the nation’s resources properly is still a challenge.
“Identifying and knowing our resources properly is still a challenge…. We don’t know the nation’s resources properly. There is a challenge both in knowing and exploiting the resources.”
He further explained that the nation still has a lot of work to do to properly benefit from the sector. We have to use plenty of technologies, giant investors across the globe have to come and invest with us.
Regarding the challenges facing the sector, he said the first step was changing the perception towards the sector, even at the government level. Now the sector is given the proper attention it deserves.
According to him, the country is not far from exploiting and utilizing its resources.
Mining is a non-renewable resource that needs proper management, monitoring and controlling mechanisms of illegal actors, Habtamu said, adding that accountability should therefore be in place.
“This is non-renewable resource. We have to utilize it with utmost care and knowledge. The challenge we are witnessing recently is contraband, illegal trade and non-licensed actors. So such programs are key in creating awareness as a nation.”
In his opening remarks yesterday, PM Abiy Ahmed noted that the annual mining and technology expo clearly depicts that Ethiopia is endowed with gold, precious stones, and other minerals.
The PM urged researchers, business-persons, and other actors to engage in the development of Ethiopia’s mineral resources in such a manner as to accelerate the nation’s overall economy.