Tanzania: Who Should Shoulder the Blame for Rot in Mining? – by Kelvin Matandiko (All Africa.com – November 23, 2016)


Dar es Salaam — Tanzania, sitting on a fortune of gold, diamonds and a vast of other much-sought-after minerals, is still listed among the ‘wretched of the earth’ – one of the poorest countries of the Third World. What exactly is to blame for this tragedy?

There is no one single answer to the question. According to analysts, years of bad policies and dubious mining contracts significantly contributed to the catastrophe. But after the liberalisation of the economy, in came some “sly” investors, who have been accused of looting while giving “lame excuses” of a difficult operating environment in the country.

A few months ago, President John Magufuli read the riot act to the mostly foreign-owned mining companies operating in Tanzania — Africa’s fourth gold producer. Dr Magufuli ordered them to pack and their bags and leave if they were genuinely, perennially making losses.

And addressing a press conference at State House early this month, he expressed his disappointment again over the poor contribution of the mining sector to the national economy.

“Tanzania has a lot of minerals, but there have been a lot of funny deals … we have to look carefully at our laws so that we move forward as a country,” Dr Magufuli said in Dar es Salaam. He became the latest most senior person to express concerns over the contribution that multinational companies are making to the national economy after years of gold digging.

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