THE Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) will borrow a leaf from Tanzania’s inspiring mining reforms, the country’s Ambassador to Tanzania has said.
Ambassador Mahayub Buyema told this paper on that his country’s interest emanates from the way Tanzania managed to control plundering of its natural resources, particularly minerals, and thus increasing mobilisation of domestic revenues.
“From this side, we have too much to learn the fact that Sahrawi is rich in natural resources but there is a lot of plundering of those resources in Western Sahrawi by foreign companies,” he asserted during an interview on Tuesday.
Tanzania’s mining sector went through a series of legal as well as regulations changes in February 2019. The government amended the Mining Act which, among other provisions, raised the royalty rate from 4 to 6 per cent with respect to mineral exports such as gold, copper, silver and platinum.
As per the new mining legislation, the government is entitled to acquire (in total) up to 50 per cent of the shares in a mining company, proportional to the quantified value of tax expenditures incurred by the government in favour of the mining company Under these legal reforms, the government and Barrick formed the Twiga Mineral Corporation under the agreement that the government holds 16 per cent of shares and Barrick taking 84 per cent.
However, the profit from the company is shared under the 50/50 arrangement. Since the reforms, a lot of achievements have been reached, including raising the contribution of the mining sector to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 3.4 per cent in 2015 to over 5 per cent currently.
The revenues from mining has risen during the past five years from 168bn/- to 528bn/-.
“I think in Sahrawi we have too much to learn from this experience of Tanzania, and I think in the future we can put this experience in practice to benefit the people of Sahrawi,” Ambassador Buyema emphasized.
He further commended Tanzania for its achievement to climb to the middle-income status within a short period. Speaking about SahrawiTanzania relations, the envoy traced the latter’s independence struggle and the hosting of southern Africa liberation movements as a key contribution for this great East African country.
“Tanzania was among the first countries to recognize Sahrawi as a republic after its declaration in 1976. Tanzania under the leadership of the late Julius Nyerere played a key role in the admission of the Sahrawi to the then Organisation of the African Unity (OAU) before it changed to the African Union (AU),” he explained.
“For us, we consider Tanzania as our big brother, we always learn from it and follow its path,” he added. He congratulated Tanzania for the successful general election held on October.