Uganda: World Bank Mineral Devt Support to Uganda Ends

New Vision (Kampala)

Ibrahim Kasita

2 January 2012

The World Bank’s support to Uganda’s mineral management has come to an end, calling for the need to search for new sources to finance the growing sector. The project closed December 31st, 2011.

According the World Bank, the eight-year project accomplished its objectives of strengthening government’ capacity to develop a sound minerals sector based on private sector investment an improvement in selected artisanal and small scale mining areas.

The Uganda sustainable management of mineral resources project has seen increase in licenses fees and royalties to $1.144m in 2010 from paltry $0.63m in 2004 when the project started.

Between January and September last year, the treasury earned $3.8m. According to the project’s implementation status and results, 607 exploration licenses issued from 2005 to end September 2011, up from 190 at start of project.

In addition, 726 licenses issued to artisanal and small scale miners (ASM), up from 100 at start of project and above the target of 300.

John Odida, the acting commissioner geological survey and mines department in the ministry of energy and mineral development, confirmed that the project support had come to an end.

“The project has been successful apart from the Karamoja region where we were not able to conduct aerial survey because of insecurity,” he explained in an interview.

“But we have got some funding from the finance ministry (about sh300m) to carryout pre-feasibility studies so that we can package and promote the Karamoja project to potential donor partners.”

The commissioner said government was looking at the World Bank, African Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and other development partners for the support.

The World Bank support project has seen successful completion of the Small Grants Program in 10 pilot sub-counties in Ntungamo, Kasese, Busia, Wakiso and Mukono, This has improved livelihoods and reduced environmental impacts.

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