Economic Development

Gemstone mining plays a critical role in economic development of Taita Taveta County which directly contributes to attainment of SDG1, 8, 9 and 12.This thematic area will strive to ensure sustainable livelihoods for ASMs through trainings and building capacity on technical and knowledge skills to promote inclusive and quality employment. The thematic area will also delve into financing and resourcing ASM mining and establishing marketing strategies and market systems to promote market interaction through different channels as exhibitions and fairs.

Issues and Challenges

Gemstone mining plays a critical role in economic development of Taita Taveta County.   It is an important activity for rural livelihoods as it contributes to employment creation (SDG8), income generation and poverty reduction for miners and their dependents (SDG1).  Mining contributes to economic growth through increased mineral export revenues and payments of royalty, taxes, duties and license fees to the government (SDG8).  A thriving gemstone mining industry (SDG9) is one that is also adopts responsible, inclusive and accountable production practices (SDG12).  Unfortunately, the sector was not for a long time regarded with seriousness because of its minimal economic contribution to Kenya’s export earnings mainly due to its informality.  Many poor and unemployed community members are drawn to ASM due to poverty. They easily enter its informal labour force as the ‘barriers to entry’ are quite low requiring no formal education.  ASM has become an opportunity for miners to generate income that could improve their living standards. However, it has also drawn people away from alternative sources of livelihoods like agriculture and tourism given that income opportunities in ASM might appear to be more attractive than traditional modes of revenue generation like farming.

Artisanal and small-scale miners in Taita Taveta County face a number of roadblocks including access to capital, lack of proper prospecting, exploration and processing knowledge and technologies, limited access to good markets and value addition. The majority of the artisans are unskilled at extraction, processing, and trading, and they also lack entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. The ASM sub-sector fails to benefit fully from mining economic activities due to lack of technical, marketing and processing skills and competencies as the whole mining process somewhat becomes counterproductive with very little gains.

Key Thematic Clusters and Actions

Sustainable livelihoods for ASMs including alternative non-mining economic activities

  • Training and capacity building on geological and mineralogical skills and knowledge
  • Promote inclusive and quality employment
  • Develop capacity of local communities on investment and risk management
  • Foster finance management for key ASM stakeholders
  • Strengthening capacity building through educational institutions in the region
  • Develop mechanisms to support and expand auxiliary livelihood services including mining byproducts (e.g. medicines from the minerals)
  • Establish local apprenticeship and entrepreneurship schemes


Financing and Resourcing ASM Mining

  • Review and recommend ASM budgetary allocation by government
  • Establish functional and effective financial schemes
  • Encourage utilization of existing recurrent funding sources including Youth fund, Uwezo fund
  • Establish a recurrent fund tailored at artisanal miners
  • Develop fundraising and grant seeking mechanisms and capacity
  • Explore collaboration potential with national and international financial institutions
  • Develop subscription mechanism for Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Forum (MSDF) members

Marketing and Market System

  • Develop capacity of local communities and stakeholders on market literacy and value addition
  • Develop strategies and platforms to promote product and market development/expansion at the local and national levels
  • Build capacity of market stakeholders to undertake valuation of minerals
  • Build stakeholder knowledge and capacities on market literacy and value chains in local contexts
  • Establish mechanism protocols for market development and investment strengthening
  • Establish entrepreneurial programs and inculcate entrepreneurial mindset

Pillars of Sustainable Mining

Clean Energy

Artisanal and small-scale mining activities has spurred infrastructural development in the county where access to water, roads, communication

Read More »