The government of Uganda must expedite legal reforms in the mining sector to enable investors do business, speakers said at the 8th Annual Mineral Wealth Conference sitting Thursday at Kampala Serena.
Andy Spiro, the country manager Great Rift Geosciences SMC Ltd, said that in order to attract investment ‘we need good and fiscal policies that are competitive’ adding that good laws will mitigate the risks in the sector.
Similarly, Dr. Luisa Moreno, the managing director Tahuti Global Inc, said favorable mining laws is what Uganda needs to attract investment. Dr Moreno also suggests that the sector should be looked at as a exploration sector not as a mining sector yet.
Dr. Elly Karuhanga, the chairperson, Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP), emphasized the need for Uganda to work towards creating an enabling environment for the mining sector.
These submissions from the private sector members who are too anxious to deploy their money into exploration and mining activities are coming at a time government has committed to revise the mining laws, regulations and policies.
Last year, a mining and minerals policy was put in place. Government with stakeholders in the private sector and civil society are participating in an ongoing review of the mining law and regulation that will phase out the Mining Act of 2003 and 2004 regulations.
Peter Lokeris, the energy minister in charge of minerals, explained that the new legal and regulatory framework shall unlock the mineral sector to spark transformation.
He noted that the sector has undergone through various transformations under Mining Act of 2003 that has been in force for the past 15 years.
Robert Kasande the permanent secretary of Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development stated that government intends to conclude the new legal and regulatory framework reviews as soon as possible.
To facilitate mining activities in the country, the energy ministry is looking at putting in place an online licensing system, establishing a mineral certification system and online registration of all miners (especially artisanal miners) among other programs.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Uganda country representative Elsie Attafuah acknowledged that that sustainable development in the mining sector must benefit all men and women.
The 8th Annual Mineral Wealth Conference, organized by UCMP, is a high private sector led gathering that sits to deliberate on how Uganda can develop its mining sector.
This year’s theme of the two day conference is creating an enabling environment for mining in Uganda.