Tanga. The Federation of Mining Associations in Tanzania (femata) has called for fast-tracking of government plans to build seven centers of excellence that specifically focus on artisanal and small-scale miners (ASMs.)
Speaking in Tanga over the weekend, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Federation, Haroun Kinega said that some of the roles of the centers would be to provide training and ensuring access to modern technologies for ASMs
Kinega said that although there were no official statistics, recent estimates – quoted by the World Bank - suggest that over a million people are involved in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in Tanzania.
Despite its potential for livelihood support, he said, ASM still don’t get the respect and recognition they deserve. Artisanal miners are widely considered as invaders, criminals and chaotic and disorganized people.
Through the State Mining Corporation (Stamico) and the Geology Survey of Tanzania (GST), the[BCT1], Mr Kinega said, the government has embarked on a project which seeks to enhance the capacity of artisanal miners in various ways.
This collaboration would provide miners access to market indicators and sales platforms, expert and technical advice on geology, subsidies to boost ASM capital and productivity; and training to improve occupational safety and health, he pointed out.
The government is also encouraging artisanal miners to form groups to facilitate networking, exchange of information and joint access to government subsidies, positioning Tanzania as the leading player in formalizing the ASM sector with clear development outcomes being monitored along the way.
He hailed the setting up of the new Mining Act which he said would help in solving conflicts between big mining concerns and ASMs.
He also said there was a need in supporting the Vocational Education Training Authority (Veta) in establishing training programmes aimed at training artisans who woiuld service the ASM subsector.