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
Financing and Resourcing ASM Mining
Marketing and Market System
International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, Nottingham University Business School, Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road, Nottingham NG8 1BB