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Mining sector reforms to earn Kenya Sh1.6 trillion in GDP

Kenya Chamber of Mines is optimistic that reforms will boost the mining sectors contribution to GDP to 10 percent before 2030.

The mining advocacy lobby group says that over the last decade, the mining industry has only managed a meagre average of 0.7 percent to Kenya’s GDP, despite its latent potential.

Over the years, agriculture has remained the dominant sector, according to the Economic Survey 2023 it accounted for about 21.2 per cent of the country’s overall GDP, industry contributed approximately 17.66 percent and the services sector contributed about 55.06 percent.

In an open letter to President William Ruto, KCM Chairman Kanyoro Patrick says that the decision to lift the moratorium and have the Mineral Rights Board commence operations will go a long way in having the applications for the various mineral rights considered, within reasonable time.

“It is the efficient and timely issuance of prospecting and mining licenses and permits that will attract both direct domestic and foreign investors and transform the sector. As an industry, we are certain that we can drive our sector’s contribution to 10% to Kenya’s GDP, more than USD 10 billion (Sh1.6 trillion) well before year 2030,” said Kanyoro.

KCM is mining industry association that represents the interests of miners, exploration companies, mineral dealers, mineral processors, suppliers and professionals in Kenya.

Its mandate is advocacy and lobbying for a vibrant and sustainable growth of the mining industry for Kenya’s economic transformation.

Kanyoro says Climate change has aggressively battered Kenya’s core sectors of agriculture and tourism adversely impacting export earning capacity, cost and standards of living, inflationary tendencies and acute foreign currency shortages.

“We are the sector that offers the promise for employment and wealth creation at the least cost to the exchequer, across Kenya. Mining as an economic activity has the capacity to create well over two (2) million jobs besides the obvious benefit to contributing towards Kenya’s industrialization,” he added.

According to president William Ruto Kenya has attracted Sh157.4 billion ($1 billion) in investments after introducing reforms in its mining sector to position it as a key driver of economic growth.

Revenues from mineral royalties are set to increase sharply due to the lifting of a moratorium that had suspended mining activity, he said.

Since its removal, there has been a spike in applications for prospecting, mining licences and permits, said the president.

The government introduced a moratorium in 2019 to map mineral resources, streamline the industry, and verify the legitimacy of permits and activities. However, by prohibiting any new investments, the moratorium has frustrated investors.

Kenya’s mining laws were revised in 2016 with the introduction of the Mining Act, which was seen as an innovative law anticipated revolutionising and growing the mining industry.

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