Assessing the impact of policy changes on small-scale mining in Tanzania

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Ngowi, A. Oforo
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The Small-Scale Mining (SSM) sub-sector makes a significant contribution to the economy of Tanzania. Major benefits include foreign exchange earnings, generation of income for rural population where alternative means of income are limited and also employs over 500,000 people. Minerals being mined are gold, gemstones, diamonds, construction materials and other minerals. SSM has also played a major role in the discovery of mineral deposits.Because of the above positive factors, the Government of Tanzania has realizedthe importance of this sub-sector and hence instituted measures to develop it.These measure include:The National Investment Policy (1997),Tanzania Investment Act (1997),The Financial Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act (1997),The Mineral Policy of Tanzania (1997), The Mining Act (1998) and The Environmental, Health and Safety Mining Regulations (1999) However, since the inception of these measures, no thorough investigations have been done to assess the impact of the measures. The main objectives of this study, therefore, are to analyse these measures and assess their impact on the SSM subsector.The major constraints hindering the development the sub-sector and the strategies for overcoming them are also analysed.As part of the study, a field survey was carried out in major SSM centres in Dares-Salaam, Arusha and Songea. The survey was carried out by use of questionnaires and direct interviews with eighty-five people in the categories of small-scale miners (50), mineral traders (20) and Government officials (15). Results from the study indicate that while some of the measures being persued by the Government are adequate and well understood by all the stakeholders in the mining sector, some are not. Some of the areas which need improvements were identified as human resource management, infrastructure, training and legal framework. In the final analysis it was concluded that the measures have produced more positive impacts than negative ones. Recommendations/suggestions to reduce or eliminate the negative impacts are also presented.
Minining Policy---Tanzania , Small scall minining