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Use the 970 minerals to grow economy

by kenya-tribune
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The Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Marine Affairs has published a preliminary mineral assessment report on 15 counties that shows Kenya has 970 minerals with the potential for further prospecting for exploration.

It established that counties have valuable minerals such as copper, graphite, manganese, iron ore, and coltan.

The report offers many lessons. One, it confirms what geographers have always estimated—that the country is endowed with vast natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable. 

Secondly, it builds on the consensus that there is a need for enhanced mineral resource exploitation through ground truthing to confirm that accurate details, mechanisation, efficiency and effectiveness can make the sector contribute more than 10 per cent to gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.

The huge potential is not fully leveraged, as exemplified by a 2016 KPMG study that found the sector contributes a paltry 0.4 per cent of GDP. Its contribution to GDP in 2020 was 0.7 per cent, which in 2021 went up marginally to 0.8 per cent.

Challenges

This is attributed to challenges such as outdated technologies, limited financing for large-scale mining, environmental pollution and degradation and reliance on small-scale and uneconomical operations.

Thirdly, the national and county governments can now operationalise partnerships and collaborations to exploit the mineral wealth. That would reduce the traditional approaches to endless exploration and start the commercial exploitation of the endowments for economic development. 

Fourth, the mineral potential should be followed with value addition and manufacturing through public-private partnerships (PPPs) and other collaborations so that industries can be set up and employ Kenyans.

In the US, mineral exploitation generates 1.3 direct and indirect jobs and every job in mining generates 2.9 others besides paying increased taxes.

Dr Giti, PhD, is an urban management, public-private partnership (PPP) and environment specialist. [email protected] @danielgiti
 

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