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Matebeleland South Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Indaba proceedings

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By Mukasiri Sibanda

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08 September 2017

“The gathering is a positive in that artisanal and small scale miners are learning and sharing their experiences as peers.” Dosman Mangisi, information officer, Zimbabwe Miners Federation.

“We designed a short course tailor made for artisanal and small scale mining, a certificate in fundamentals for mining. We can also do outreach trainings for miners at $160 per person over one week. We want to market our training services” Bhekani Sibanda School of mines

“Artisanal and small scale miners lack platforms to learn about key developments in the sector. This indaba is a welcome development”Matilda Masia Gwanda women in mining.

“This indaba is opening new doors by promoting engagement involving artisanal and small scale miners, relevant government ministries and departments, suppliers and CSOs” Khumbulani Moyo Chairperson of Matebeleland South Small Scale Miners Association

“We are here to learn from Matebeland South indaba as we prepare for the Matebeleland North ASM indaba to be held at Inyathi training centre on 21 and 22 September” S Ndlovhu, treasurer, Bubi Small Scale Miners Association.

“we have the opportunity to teach artisanal and small scale miners about safe mining methods” Furusa, Chief Engineer, Ministry of Mines, Matebeleland South province.

“The platform is empowering the Associations in Gwanda to organise their own indaba, bringing in stakeholders from the various districts to discuss the impediments and opportunities of ASGM. The associations were responsible for organising the event; invitations, venue identification, preparations, drafting the agenda and facilitating the event with ZELA supporting them financially” Joyce Nyamukunda Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

Over 130 stakeholders have converged at a District Club in Gwanda town for the two day Matebeleland South Artisanal and Small Scale Mining indaba. The theme for the indaba is “influencing ease of doing business reforms: A focus on ASM to empower communities.” Stakeholders include ASM associations from the province, Zimbabwe Miners Federation, School of Mines, Ministry of Mines, Fidelity Printers and Refineries, Environmental Management Agency, suppliers, CSOs and CBOs. Some of the ASM associations represented here are from Felabusi, Matopo, Mpoengs, Mangwe and Beitbridge districts.

The overarching objective of the indaba is to create space for ASM players in the province to meet and share experience on influencing ease of doing business policy and practice reforms. Generally, ease of doing business reforms have been looked at through the lens of promoting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).

Interestingly, the ASM sector’s significant contribution to the country total gold production has been instrumental in raking in much needed foreign exchange. That is why the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is on the record of calling for decriminalisation of gold possession and formalisation of ASM sector. Formalisation of artisanal mining is on the agenda of the Mining Technical Working Group (TWG) on ease of doing business reforms.

The signature deliverable for the indaba is the documentation of various policy and practice impediments that are affecting the easy of doing business for artisanal and small scale miners in Matebeleland South province. This will enable the ASM associations and miners to be more articulate when engaging policy makers on the change that they want to see,

For more details, follow #ASMinMatSouth

Mukasiri Sibanda (@mukasiri) is an economic governance officer. He is interested in mineral resource governance. He blogs at Mukasiri's Blog. Mukasiri works with the Zimbabwe Environmental law Association