The Conference took place on 26th -27th October 2016 at Blue Pearl Hotel – Ubungo Plaza, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It brought on board the five HakiRasilimali Coalition members; HakiMadini, Interfaith Standing Committee, Policy Forum, ONGEA and Governance Links with the aim of broadening information sharing to build awareness and provide lessons on advocacy strategies in mining, oil and gas economies putting in place the emphasis on the efficient use of natural resources for the benefit of the public.
This conference was witnessed by delegates from over 30 Tanzanian organizations both public and private, from 7 African countries (South Africa ,Zambia, South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and 3 from Non-African countries, numbering over approximately one-hundred (100),discussing and taking note of the current state of transparency and accountability in the extractive sector in Tanzania and the loopholes that allow a few people to benefit from the mineral resources and leaving the majority perceiving little value and benefit of extractive activities. Also in the major recognition of Faith Leaders (Largest group in the conference) having an important role to play in encouraging transparency in the industry, encouraging the rule of law, and curbing tax evasion and transfer pricing that contribute to host communities missing out on seeing the benefits of extractive activities.
The conference was positively attended by all intended stakeholders who included officials from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, women groups, People With Disabilities, representatives from the Parliament, legislators, small scale miners, communities affected by mining, academia, religious leaders, large mining companies and development partners and invited visitors from outside the country. For all of them it was an opportunity to meet all these stakeholders under one roof to discuss and reach consensus on extractive industry in Tanzania
During the discussion, the Guest of Honor Mr. John Sandiko Shija clearly mentioned that it is important to observe and create policies and strategies that will assist the mining industry to grow and develop. He called upon all stakeholders to work closely with the government in educating the citizens about the benefits of utilizing the extractive industry for national growth. He urged participants to come up with solutions to problems and to give feedback for the government follow up.
Conclusively, it was argued that Policies and laws must be amended to suit current work environments and benefit the citizens more or make sure investor and local citizen enjoy equal rights and benefits. Weak communication system or structures to be built from foundation level and all should play a role. Public awareness and education should be available for all citizens, as they all have a right to information. Government and companies to set aside a budget for project that are sustainable for the local people; ensure they have income generating activities. All stakeholders to collaborate and work together in ensuring the public in aware of solutions to challenges discussed, ensuring investors not only create job but the community must benefit from other income generating activities such as farming. Women’s rights in this sector must be highly respected and laws changed to ensure women are well protected in the male dominated field.
For more details, download the conference report.