Kenya has set the stage ready for mineral investment and is now wooing potential investors to tap into a sector that has not been fully exploited for various reasons.
In his speech at the Mining Indaba 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa, Kenya’s Minister for Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Salim Mvurya said ground toothing has been made for a number of minerals including, copper, graphite and rare earth with the remaining job being to quantify to make economic sense of the minerals.
“I want to assure our investors and colleagues in the various countries that Kenya is joining the league of mineral investment in Africa,” stated Mvurya.
The minister acknowledged that the country needed to advance more on its regulatory framework to better the working environment for investors.
“We need to ensure that we have an enabling legislative framework. We have a progressive law which has clarity in most of the gray areas that have existed.”
Some of the gray areas present in the sector touch on artisanal miners, and how the country has been dealing with royalty sharing and matters licensing.
“We need to provide opportunities to review some of this section for the benefit of the government and communities.”
Kenya expects to roll out new policies on value addition in the next three months as it banks on minerals to improve livelihoods in the entire value chain.
Mvurya said his ministry has already concluded geo-survey data in all 47 counties (regional administrative units) to position the mining sector as a key economic indicator.
This includes among other minerals in the blue economy in the Indian Ocean.
Regarding the value chain, he reiterated on the actual beneficiary who is rooted within the communities, even as the sector poses a greater risk on climate change.
Kenya would be onboarding investors with a clear vision of an ideal mechanism that would not jeopardize environmental protection against the pressing climate change.
“We need to put in mechanisms for environmental mechanisms so that as investments grow, we also grow our portfolio in environmental protection.”
Besides, Mvurya assured investors that Kenya is swiftly moving towards digitizing all its services in the ministry.
“Part of the government modernisation of its programmes is to ensure all services are done online. Equally in the mining sector, we want to position the country to have our services to be done online so that investors can make applications and look at our mining information at the touch of the button of their phones.”
The online service will be ready in the country by June this year.