Problems facing the mining sector in East Africa

Problems facing the mining sector in East Africa

The following are Problems facing the mining sector in East Africa  

  • Inadequate capital for the mining process which is very expensive.
  • Minerals are non-renewable resources and will get exhausted with time e.g. copper was exhausted at Kilembe.
  • Poor transport networks making mineral zones very difficult to reach.

  • Political instabilities especially in Uganda e.g. ADF rebels who destabilized Kasese affected investment in copper mining.
  • Some minerals are expensive to exploit because they are buried deep underground e.g. gold in Bushenyi.
  • Shortage of skilled manpower to undertake the mining activities leading to the hiring of expatriates who are very expensive.
  • The an inadequate market for East African minerals because they are of poor quality.

  • There is limited research and exploration to discover new mineral zones.
  • Some minerals are available in very small quantities and therefore not economically viable e.g. gold in Karamoja.
  • Most of the mining companies are owned by foreigners who normally take profits back to their home countries.
  • When the minerals are exhausted, the towns which had developed turn into ghost cities with problems of unemployment e.g. Kilembe.

  • Many of the towns e.g. Kakamega which grew up because of mining are faced with problems of congestion and crimes e.t.c.

The solution to the above problems  

  • Government should seek aid and grants from developed countries to widen the capital base.
  • Investments should be made in research and exploration to get new mineral zones.
  • International advertisements should be done to widen the market for local minerals.
  • Government should improve transport facilities in the mining areas e.g. upgrading roads from murram to tarmac.

  • Political stability should be encouraged to attract more foreign investors.
  • The government should encourage on-site mineral processing to produce high quality products.
  • New courses should be introduced at different learning institutions to produce enough skilled labour force.
  • Diversification of the economy to reduce dependence on mining.

Government should carry out market research to get new markets for East Africans minerals


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