The startups were assisted with the sum of USD 80,000 to permit them re-launch their activities affected by the COVID-19 pandemicand demonstrate good practices in artisanal mining sector.
A national strategy to organize and formalizeactivities in the artisanal mining sector in the country has been presented to the Ministry of Mines, Industries and Technological Development.
This was during a workshop in Yaounde Wednesday March 3, 2021 to review activities under the sector under the second phase of the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme financed by the European Union, EU, and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP.
Experts revealed during the workshop that this phase aimsto in coherence with the African mining vision and the sustainable development objectives of the UN, consolidate development efforts in the minerals sector with particular emphasis on scaling up the good practices obtained during the first phase, increase employment and better their income level of actors.
Dr. MoussaCharlot, National Coordinator of ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme, said the second phase is coming after a census conducted to ascertain the state of affairs in the sector indicated revealed 90% of activities implemented by artisanal miners are informal.
“That is why we decided to organize the sector…we came today after some studies in the field to give the presentation of the content of the document so as to get honours from the minister of mines,” he said, adding, that the compass of the strategy focuses on formalization and business development/entrepreneurship within the sector.
Alasssane Ba, Deputy UNDP Resident Representative, disclosed that results of the survey conducted to assess the impact of the health crisis on the sectorindicated that the sector has witnessed 94.1% drop in demand, 67.7% a drop in revenuesand a slowdown in activities of 55.2%.
To help the affected actors revamp their activities, a consignment of anti-COVID-19 kits were donated to them with some 37 actors handed grants amounting to USD 80 000 to enable them re-launch their activities.
Alasssane said the UNDP will in close collaboration with the key actors commit to guaranteeing the harmonious achievement of the results in the second phase through improvement of the business environment and the formalization of operations, improvement of the entrepreneurial skills and their access to financing, technologies and markets, strengthening of social and environmental guarantees in mines and quarrying workers, strengthening of the integration of the gender dimension and support to women miners among others.
The workshop unfolded under the watchful eyes of the Secretary Generalof the ministry of who sat in for the Minister. The SG hailed the cooperation between the UNDP, EU and government alongside civil society organisatuion in putting up the strategy which he said will contribute not just to the sector but the economic and social development of our country.
He urged all stakeholders to appropriate themselves with the new tool and make effective use of it so that the mineral development sector goes beyond being a source of employment and become a real driver of Cameroon’s economic goals.