By Michel Nkurunziza
The CEO of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board, Yamina Karitanyi, has encouraged mining operators to embrace value addition to cushion the industry against price fluctuation and stabilize the country’s export revenues.
She said this during her address to Africa Mining Forum which is being held virtually starting from November 2 to 4.
The forum brought together executives and decision-makers in the mining sector to engage directly with key stakeholders, investors, and asset managers through the unique networking channels to identify promising projects and deploy capital in Africa’s mining.
The event, which brought together 2,000 mining professionals from 78 countries, also provides extensive opportunities to industry technology and service providers to showcase and demonstrate their practical solutions.
“Export earnings increased fourfold in just four years to 733$ million last year. Value addition will ensure we capitalize on our country’s mineral resources,” Karitanyi said.
Government expects to record $1 billion in export earnings this year, she said adding that mining has a major role to play in this.
According to Karitanyi, formalisation and professionalising mining operations, mineral exploration for promoting investment and mineral diversification, promotion of value addition, institutional and private capacity development are among the measures to spur mining sector growth.
“We seek to turn Rwanda into a hub of mineral services in the region. We are moving towards professionalising the sector as a solution to challenges that continue to impede modernising the operations, mainly employing skilled workforce, access to finance, and modern equipment,” she said.
She said the forum is an opportunity to look at the balance of economic, environmental and social imperatives in our mining Industry.
“Mining should not be seen as a threat to our communities but rather an opportunity to change the lives of everyone along the entire value chain,” she said.
The gathering, she noted, provides a great opportunity for mining companies, investors, asset managers and government stakeholders eager to engage and deploy capital in Africa’s sustainable mining, focused on integrating climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives, reducing carbon emissions, enhancing transparency, efficiency and effective governance.
“We have to ensure the mining is more responsive to climate action, as well as strategies to position the African continent to add value to our minerals, such as significantly increasing Africa’s refinery capacity which would benefit our communities and turn Africa’s endowment of mineral resources into socially responsible revenue growth and wealth,” Karitanyi said.
She said the government of Rwanda is carrying out several exploration activities to generate geological data in order to pitch investors for key potential areas suitable for further detailed exploration and mining.