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Kenya has untapped mineral potential – report

BUSINESS
By Awal Mohammed | March 6th 2021

Fabian Subi, a gold miner at Sumba Mbili Gold mine site in Nyatike Sub County. [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

Kenya’s mining sector can contribute up to 12 per cent of the gross domestic product if fully exploited.

This is according to a report by the Mineral Rights Board on how to attract mining investment that was launched this week.

The report identified major challenges that have seen local and foreign investors shying away from the sector.

“The sector is historically funded by development partners and private investors with the government playing a minimal role, hence reduced budgetary allocation and funding,” it said.

The report comes a week after Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes gazetted artisanal mining committees in Migori and Siaya to formalise small-scale mining, curb illegal activities and increase contribution to the sector’s earnings.

According to the Economic Survey 2020, about Sh50.3 billion was gained from mining and quarrying activities in 2019.

However, the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP has been reducing from 2.5 per cent in 2014 to 0.8 per cent in 2018.

The minerals board attributed this to lack of an environment to boost investor confidence.

“(This includes) lack of clarity around the set of laws, regulations and agreements that govern the economic benefits derived from mineral exploration,” the report said.

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