On Friday, October 16, 2020, a meeting organized in collaboration with the Rwanda Mining Board (RMB) and the Northern Province was held to discuss ways to make mining sector more professional, compliance to the mining law and productivity.
The meeting, which took place in Musanze District was chaired by the Governor of the Northern Province Gatabazi Jean Marie Vianey together with the Deputy Director General of RMB, Dr. Twagirashema Ivan.
It was also attended by the District Mayors in the Northern Province and investors in the mining sector.
During this meeting, Governor Gatabazi requested Mining investors to bring young people into the profession since the sector which is a backbone of the country’s economic growth also needs fresh minds to develop faster.
Governor Gatabazi also urged miners to better protect the environment where they work and to be more cooperative in the mining sector.
While addressing the meeting, Dr. Twagirashema pointed out that the mining sector has a significant role to play in the Rwandan economy, where it is expected to generate $ 800 million in foreign exchange in the year 2020.
He also assured the miners that the process of obtaining mining licenses has been eased.
The Secretary General of the Rwanda Extractive Industry Workers Union (REWU), Mr. Mutsindashyaka Andre who was also attending recalled that in order to do professional mining, there a list of obligation an employer should fulfill among them are “treating employees well, giving them the value, and employment contracts, getting them insurance, and getting paid via financial institutions” adding that “this will make employees productive in their respective workplaces.”
Referring to the role of REWU, Governor Gatabazi noted that employers should not be a hindrance to preventing workers from joining the union, as there are positive changes being brought about by this organization.
He calls for the services provided by the RMB inspectors in the districts to be improved in cooperation
Current statistics in Mining and quarrying Industry
According to statistics from RMB, the Mining current situation before and after COVID 19 show that before COVID 19 the sector employed 60,000 Mines employees and 41,800 Mines employees during the outbreak.
On the side of quarries there are 22,000 Quarry employees at present and about Rwf 3 Billion was so far generated compared to Rwf 5 billion earned in 2019
The targeted amount from Mining revenues are $ 800 million target in the year 2020 and $ 1.5 billion target for 2024
The meeting requests that Mining deaths must be stopped. According to the statistics from January 2020, 51 accidents were recorded, 55 deaths and 38 serious injuries as well as 21 minor injuries
According to the hosts as COVID 19 is gradually coming down and effective prevention measures, mining is now expected to generate more cash, requiring miners and unions to be more involved.
Jean Malik Kalima, the chairperson of the Rwanda Mining Association commends the Governor of the Northern Province for helping the miners while at the same time appreciating the cooperation with RMB and REWU.
Kalima said that miners are ready for the development of the profession as per the guidance of RMB