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Fist bumps were in order late last week between Eyob Takalign (PhD) (left), state minister for Finance, and Takele Uma, minister of Mines & Petroleum and head of the institution that oversees the mining sector, which has been a boom for federal treasuries over the past year. The occasion was the renovation of the Ministry’s headquarters in the neighbourhood commonly known as Wessen, as part of a revamping of federal agencies.



Takele gave a tour of the headquarters to members of the media and federal officials, including Motuma Mekassa (centre), former minister of Mines & Petroleum. The occasion was rounded off with recognition for the federal agency employees and blood donation by Takele for the National Defense Forces, a familiar sight these days, mainly by government officials.




The Ministry also released a sector report, showing a surprisingly impressive performance over the past two years. While mining remains heavily traditional and inefficient, with artisanal workers accounting for nearly all mined gold, the government has succeeded in formalising part of it. Within two years, exports from mining grew by around 2,000pc to account for a sixth of the 3.6 billion dollars in export revenues. In the first month of this fiscal year, the sector secured 38.5 million dollars, a third higher than the 29 million dollars from mining for the entirety of 2019.


The Ministry would like to see this success replicated and more. The strategies it has identified are facilitating a market for mining products on the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX) and developing industrial mining. The major roadblocks are the civil war in the north, particularly in Tigray Regional State, one of three top gold producers, and alarming levels of political instability across the country. Poor infrastructure and stubborn levels of informality are not helping either.



PUBLISHED ON Sep 02,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1114]


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