What you need to know:
- Smuggling of minerals is not unique to DRC as Kenya is also faced with a similar problem which, according to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, has seen the country earn less revenue than the estimated worth of locally available minerals.
- He said talks on how to stop gold smuggling from DRC were going on between governments of East and Central Africa.
Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo have signed a deal meant to curb illegal export of gold from the central African nation through local ports.
The agreement was reached at a meeting between a delegation from DRC and senior officials at the Ministry of Mining, which was held in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Following the deal, Cabinet Secretary for Mining Najib Balala is expected to instruct relevant arms, including the Kenya Revenue Authority, Department of Mines and Geology and the Kenya Airports Authority, among others, to disallow undocumented exports of gold.
“It was resolved that no exports of gold that are not accompanied by valid export certification will be allowed through Kenya. A uniquely printed certification has been adopted and must accompany any gold export from DRC,” mining secretary Said Athman told the Nation on phone.
He said talks on how to stop gold smuggling from DRC were going on between governments of East and Central Africa.
DRC’s deputy minister for natural resources, the country’s ambassador to Kenya and four other senior government officials constituted the delegation, according to Mr Athman.
A recent report from the United Nations shows that gold worth at least $400 million (Sh35 billion) was smuggled out of DRC to East African countries last year. It said proceeds from the sale of the mineral were being used to finance recurrent fighting in the country.
The report fingers three Uganda-based families as “major illegal gold exporters in 2013,” as published by the Africa Review.
Kenya enjoys a strategic position at the Southern and Eastern African Mineral Centre (Seamic), with Mr Balala having been re-elected chairman in June this year. This gives it an advantage to influence regional policies on issues affecting the extractive sector.
Seamic is a UN-backed institution that was established under the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
Smuggling of minerals is not unique to DRC as Kenya is also faced with a similar problem which, according to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, has seen the country earn less revenue than the estimated worth of locally available minerals.
The total value of mineral output declined by 28.6 per cent from Sh27.9 billion in 2012 to Sh19.7 billion last year, according to data from the bureau.
“The challenge for us is that these minerals are exhaustible yet we do not get corresponding revenue,” said Mr Athman.