Mining sector - Last year, the mining sector provided the country revenue of US$ 136.6 million, the second source of income after the tourism sector. Revenue from minerals accounts for 28% of total export earning and the sector employs more than 20,000 Rwandan. In 2012, exports from mining are higher than tea that brought 14%, while coffee exports accounted for 12.6%.
This emerged from Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi's explanations to parliament concerning the mining sector, its achievement and the plans the government has for it.
The Premier told lawmakers that Rwanda is dotted with different minerals including coltan, gold, wolfram, and cassiterite. "Research has shown that there are mining opportunities in 21 places around the country and this proves that Rwanda has minerals," observed the PM, adding that the country has minerals such as nickel, amblygonite, sapphire, tourmaline, marble and granite. "We also have minerals like copper, lead, zinc, silver, and other rare earth elements. These are minerals that are not commonly known by people in the country compared to others like coltan, wolfram etc."
Mining exploration activities in Rwanda started in 1909 and in 1930 actual mining activities were launched.
Habumuremyi told MPs that, since the government has privatized the mining sector, eight international mining companies started identification of minerals opportunities, and 472 operation permits have been issued to investors. "From 2013 to 2017 minerals income shall triple to US$ 409 million," he explained.
To achieve that, the Premier said, local experts will be trained. "Twelve Rwandan students started their bachelor's degrees in Geology and Mining in Birmingham University (UK). This is a capacity building mechanism since we don't have enough experts in the sector."
In order to help lift the communities in the surroundings of the mineral areas, people working in mines were grouped in cooperatives to allow standardization and efficiency.
Lawmakers commended the mining sector and recommended that the government continue to encourage research for more and more minerals which might help Rwanda's economy grow strong to reach the self-reliance target sooner.
.....hate against Rwanda and Rwandans, which could be a long-term problem," observed Bizimana, adding that Rwandans have disappeared in Congo at hand s of government spy agencies.
The report reiterated that the decisions by some countries to suspend aid to Rwanda were baseless and illegal. "Some Kigali envoys of donor nations were not even aware that their governments had cut aid to Rwanda. They heard it from the media," the Senator said.
The lawmakers accuse Belgium of pushing the European Union to remove Rwanda aid based on political considerations.
They also insist that the UN should redefine Monusco's role in the area, because it is a failure and an example of waste funds. "Monusco has recently even ignored the information on a new rebel group led by the ex-army chief of staff Kayumba Nyamwasa based in South Africa. There have to be real reasons why it has failed and it's for the Security Council to condemn this."
Parliamentarians pointed out that the GoE report had caused a souring of relations between Kigali and Kinshasa and resulted in racial attacks on Rwandans and the closure of the borders with DRC outside working hours, a decision which harmed businesspeople and students who were traveling to Goma.
After being approved by lawmakers, the report now will be translated into international languages so that it can be accessed by foreigners and help them know the truth.
"We know that there are people out there who want to know the truth. They'll analyze our report and know how haters, including the international organizations, governments and individuals with different interest,s conspired to tarnish Rwanda's image," Bizimana concluded.
By Jean-Christophe Nsanzimana