Kenya: Balala wants uniform mining laws for Africa

By Nation Correspondent
27th March 2015

Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has asked African countries to formulate uniform mining laws to prevent exploitation.

This, he said, would solve the problem of the “resource curse” that is common on the continent, where locals remain poor despite the wealth being extracted from their lands.

Diverse regulations

Speaking during the 17th Biennial Ambassadors and High Commissioners conference at Leisure Lodge Resort in Diani, Kwale, yesterday, Mr Balala said diverse regulations were giving investors the upper hand.

“We have the same companies in Kenya, Tanzania or Ghana. Therefore, we must make our laws and fiscal regime uniform for the benefit of our people,” he said.

Mr Balala asked African leaders to put the interests of their people first by refraining from looting resources.

The minister urged mining companies to maintain high levels of transparency on payments made to the governments.

Make it transparent

“If you want declarations then let us make everything transparent so that there are benefits for the people,” said Mr Balala.

At the same time, he vowed to be very strict on the licensing of mining firms.

Mr Balala defended the government’s decision to raise the amount of money paid as royalties from 0 to 12 per cent, saying it was fair.