Thursday Feb 19, 2009 Beware mining pitfalls, Dar warns EAC partners SUKHDEV CHHATBAR in Arusha, 19th February 2009 @ 09:43 DAILY NEWS The Minister for East African Co-operation (EAC), Dr Diodorus Kamala, has exhorted regional partner states to take a leaf from Tanzania when inviting investors in the mining sector. "We have learnt many good and bad things in the mining sector and partner states should learn from Tanzania," Dr Kamala said today when participating in a debate to adopt a report of the Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources before the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) session. The report follows EALA Inter-Parliamentary Regional Liaison Committee's visit of Tanzanian Extractive Industries recently. "Mining is a challenging sector. Things are very different in practice…," he stressed, cautioning the five-nation EAC partners of the need for clear policies and authenticity of the investors. The report was presented by EALA's Chairman of the Committee of Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources, Dr George Nangale (Tanzania), who in his concluding remarks said that the region's mining sector must be tapped for the benefit of the people and their development. He also called for skilled regional labour in the area and government's full participation in acquiring shares in such deals, citing an example of Botswana. The report was unanimously adopted by the House. On Wednesday, the Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC), Ambassador Dr Juma Mwapachu, warned the House that the regional secretariat was running out of funds because of non timely remittances by partner states. "If there will be no abrupt intervention, even the about 120 staff members of the community may go without their salaries this month,'' he stated. It was learnt that new entrants Rwanda and Burundi have not paid not even a cent since joining the regional grouping some two years ago. Kenya has paid until February 10, US $2million (about 36 per cent) of their contributions only; Tanzania US $ 1.9 million (about 34 per cent) and Uganda US $3.9 million (about 70 per cent). The issue of non timely remittances is expected to be raised at the 17th Ordinary Meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers scheduled for 27 February 2009 in Arusha when considering approval for 2009/2010 budget. The proposed budget for the next financial year is about $62 million, of which half of the amount is expected from donors. Since Monday, senior officials of the Co-ordination Committee have been holding its sessions to lay a ground work for the ministers' conference. The Co-ordination Committee is made up of EAC Partner states Permanent Secretaries. At the 17th Ordinary Meeting, the Council of Ministers are expected to consider and make recommendations on several reports on the regional projects and programmes being implemented by the different EAC Organs. The Council Meeting is also being held against the background of the global economic crisis which has started in the developed world and which will have effects on the region's economies, another agenda which may come up during the ministers meeting.