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Mineral wealth must benefit Africans, President says

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Written by MyGov

President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged an African mining organisation to develop policies that will make the continent reap maximum benefit from the mining industry.  He said the Southern and Eastern African Mineral Centre (SEAMIC) must ensure African countries are not short changed by multinational corporations extracting minerals in the continent.

“For far too long we have allowed our resources to be exploited to benefit other people. Time has come for us to change that narrative,” President Kenyatta said.  He was speaking today during a meeting with a delegation of the 35th Governing Council of the SEAMIC who paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.

SEAMIC is an international organisation under the umbrella of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. When it was established in 1977, it comprised eight eastern and southern African states – Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Mozambique, Comoros and Angola. In 2007, membership to the organization was opened to all African countries.

President Kenyatta expressed the need to set similar mining conditions in the continent to safeguard the sector from unfair exploitation by foreign companies.  “We should not allow multinational companies to play us against one another by imposing unnecessary competition among us. They should be made to find the same mining conditions across the continent,” President Kenyatta said.

He added: “The discovery of minerals in our region should herald a brighter future for us – jobs for our youth and improved living standards for our people – but not civil strife and poverty.”

The SEAMIC delegation, led by Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, briefed President Kenyatta of the Centre’s achievements in the last two years.  They said the Centre has been consistent in promoting the socio-economic and environmental development of the mining sector in Africa.

Other members of SEAMIC Governing Council who attended the meeting included Tanzania’s Energy and Minerals Minister George Simbachawane, Ethiopia’s Minster for Mines Tewodros Egziabher and their Ugandan counterpart Peter Lokeris.

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