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Economy - Development | Technology

Uganda's mining sector attracts investments

afrol News, 29 September - Uganda is succeeding in attracting important local and foreign private investments in its growing mining sector. To enhance the positive trend, the government has launched a project to improve geophysical survey capacities and other government services related to the mining sector.

Strengthening Uganda's mining authorities has become necessary after private investments in the sector have increased during the last years. A Kampala government project to achieve this today secured funding from the Tunis-based African Development Fund (ADF). The Fund is to provide a US$ 7.8 million grant to finance the project, according to an ADF statement.

The ADF grant is to be used to finance the procurement of goods and services for Airborne Geophysical Surveys. This includes airborne data acquisition, compilation of information on surface and sub-surface geology, data processing, interpretation, quality control and publication of these data.

The project also includes financing the Laboratories and Geological Storage; procurement of relevant equipment for providing support services to mineral exploration and exploitation programs as well as setting up of rock sample labs and museum.

During the project, Ugandan authorities further will establish five seismological stations in order to monitor seismic activities in the country, and finance training activities. Formal training courses, on-the-job-training, short courses and university courses are planned.

- These outputs of the Mineral Resources Management and Capacity Building Project will encourage expansion of private investment in the mineral sector in a socially and environmentally sound and sustainable manner, according to the project's official description.

The attraction of local and foreign private investments to promote mining growth and reduce poverty in rural areas was said to be "a key priority of the Ugandan government." To achieve this objective, the Kampala government has formulated and adopted a strategy to reform the legal and regulatory framework of the mineral sector to establish an environment that is attractive to private investment.

Within the framework of this strategy, the government says it is "committed to shift the role of the state from controller and operator to regulator, facilitator and promoter of sustainable minerals development, while opening up the sector to private investment, including foreign and local small-scale miners."

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