Rwanda and Zimbawe formalize their cooperation in the mining sector

The Rwandan and Zimbabwean governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Tuesday 27 August on cooperation in the mining sector. Announced on Thursday by the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB), it was signed in Harare during the visit of a delegation of Rwandan officials.

Among the main objectives set, Kigali and Harare wish to collaborate in the field of training, exchange experiences in project management and share specialized jobs in the mining sector. Heading the delegation from the Thousand Hills country, Francis Gatare, Director General of the RMB, described the agreement as an example of the implementation of the « Africa Mining Vision » programme, an action plan initiated by the African Union in 2009 that aims to achieve »[…] equitable and optimal exploitation of the continent’s mineral resources through cooperation in resource management ». Its main interlocutor, Winston Chitando, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines and Mining Development, said that « this agreement allows Zimbabwe to benefit from Rwanda’s small-scale mining best practices and to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries ».

Revenues generated by the mining sector in Rwanda (2013-2017)
Source: Rwanda Development Board

For a long time in the shadow of agricultural export sectors (coffee and tea in particular), the Rwandan mining sector is currently growing rapidly, driven primarily by the extraction of tin, tantalum and tungsten. According to government statistics, the sector is now the country’s second largest source of foreign exchange, with $373 million in revenue generated in 2017, behind tourism ($430 million).