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IIED: Small-scale mining in Tanzania hampered by limited resources

last modified Nov 02, 2017 01:36 PM
Hard work and an against-all-odds entrepreneurial spirit have kept afloat one East African country's artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector. The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) reports that, despite a shortage of technological advantages and restricted access to finance, the sector accounts for the jobs of more than a million Tanzanians.

International Institute for Environment and Development

Mining in Tanzania is a major and rapidly growing part of the economy, not least as a source of employment. Approximately one-and-a-half million people are directly involved in ASM across the country (PDF), compared to about 12,000 who are employed by large-scale mining companies. Artisanal miners dominate most of the country's coloured gemstone production. Many of them are women, who make up 27 per cent of the overall ASM workforce and who often face the greatest hardships.

Despite several progressive policy initiatives that aspire to make ASM a local growth engine, the sector is still struggling to realise its full potential to contribute to sustainable development. In particular, limited access to technology and technical skills and, crucially, access to finance and markets, blight the sector.

While there is general public acceptance of ASM in Tanzania, there is little awareness of the benefits it can bring to communities, particularly through the creation of jobs for unskilled young men and women. There is also a lack of understanding of how ASM could support the government’s enterprise and industrialisation agenda, a key part of its Development Vision 2025 (PDF).

 

To read more about IIED's role in this system, as well as interviews with small-scale miners in Tanzania, please see the source article here.

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