World Bank Invests in Tanzania Mineral Projects

According to recent reports, the World Bank is planning to invest USD 290 million into mineral governance projects across seven different African countries, including the Tanzania mineral sector.

This announcement from the World Bank was made during the ongoing conference of African ministers responsible for mineral resources development, the discussion of the Africa Mining Vision and the endorsement of an action plan for implementation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Reports indicate that, in 2010 alone, the top 40 mining companies in Africa have made net profits of USD 110 billion and have a net asset base in excess of USD 1 trillion.

While addressing the conference, Mr. Jean Noel Francois, the acting director in the Department of Trade and Industry at the African Union (AU) Commission, stated that, while the mineral resources in Africa are currently fuelling growth and development in many of the world’s industrialized and emerging economies, the continent itself remains poor, underdeveloped and dependent upon donor assistance for support in their respective national budgets.

According to the World Bank, the purpose of this USD 290 million investment is to help strengthen the mineral governance systems in a continent that possesses an abundance of mineral resources, but still remains impoverished.

During a presentation at the ongoing conference, Dr. Brigitte Bocoum of the Bank’s Sustainable Oil, Gas and Mining Division said that, “African countries with minerals are characterized by poor governance [and] these projects would strengthen capacity in mineral policies and governance.”

In addition to the Tanzania mining sector, other countries that are expected to benefit from the ongoing World Bank project include Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria and Uganda.

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Currently, the goal of the World Bank investment project in these seven countries is to work on building capacity at the government level and at an institutional level in addition to strengthening the overall regulatory systems of the mining sectors in each of the seven focal countries.