In what is an effort to achieve top ranking in the global gold business, Tanzania is chomping to launch its maiden international gold exchange in Geita region. The East African country will inaugurate the hub in the Northwestern part of the nation in April this year, also in a bid to attract droves of local and foreign dealers.
While all the provisions are in place – including infrastructure and a one-stop centre – for the East African gold trading hub, what pends the takeoff is confirmation from the Ministry of Mining. According to Geita Regional Commissioner, Engineer Robert Gabriel, the opening of the market will be done as soon as the Ministry gives the green light.
East Africa’s international gold bullion market, according to prospects, will allure more enterprises such as hotels, boost the shilling value against the dollar, increase activities in the Chato and Mwanza Airports and increase the ongoing incomes of the small-scale miners. What will be generated from the gold mining activities is also expected to maximise the revenues generated by the Tanzanian government.
Word from the Federation of Miners Association of Tanzania (FEMAT) discloses that there are over six million small-scale miners across Tanzania. The report also reveals that an estimated 40.5 million people were in direct engagements with Artisanal and Small-scale Mining in 2017, up from 30 million in 2014, 13 million in 1999 and 6 million six years before that.
Just last month, President John Magufuli held talks with the mining stakeholders, with the major agenda to devise solutions to alleviate their grievances. The meeting was also organised for the president to receive advice about the ideal strategy to employ to operate the mining sector for the benefit of Tanzania and its people. The outcomes of the forum led the United Republic to endorse a bill that removed the payment of 5 percent withholding tax and 18 percent added tax which small-scale miners were previously mandated to pay.
There are five districts in the Swahili-speaking nation’s Geita Region; Mbogwe, Kahama Rural District, Kahama Urban District, Bukombe District, Chato District and Geita District. Each of these districts will have a centre for gold collection from small-scale miners alongside two banks where gold trading will hold for safe and secure transaction conducts.
Apart from turbocharging the socialist state’s revenue, the hub will be curbing gold smuggling to neighbouring countries since artisanal miners will fetch huge shillings at the exchange. In addition, the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) says that the gold bullion will enable the constitutional republic to obtain accurate statistics of golds exports and earnings, where initially the business was conducted manually.
Tanzania joins the bullion bandwagon, on board of which are African countries such as Botswana who deals in diamonds and South Africa that pushes a gold market.