United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will spend over US$13.1 million on training and developing small and medium enterprises that are in the mining sector, with an aim of helping them to increase their productivity and competitiveness.
The training which has already commenced is being conducted under the African Caribbean and pacific program, an initiative of African, Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Group of States, coordinated by the ACP Secretariat, financed by the European Commission and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented by UNDP.
Under this program, UNDP seeks to train key players in the mining sector like the micro and small enterprises; associates and chambers of mines; civil societies in countries that are under ACP like Uganda, Zambia, Guinea, Cameroon Fiji and Jamaica; with an aim of building their capacity in areas of environmental protection, health, standards conflict resolution as well as how the small enterprises can commercialize the mining business.
Wilson Kwamya, the team leader inclusive green growth program UNDP while addressing the media on Tuesday, said that the training in Uganda had already began with over 160 groups and individuals trained and more 160 starting training in the next month.
“Small enterprises in mining sector in Uganda and other African states have no access to markets hence the low productivity of the sector. This training is aimed at improving the skills of these small enterprises so that they are able to competitively trade their small minerals to develop themselves,” Kwamya said.
He added: “At the end of the training, the participants are expected to have acquired skills in mine and quarry management; environment, health and safety, entrepreneurship skills, market analysis and investment promotion; geo-data and maps design, community relations and addressing grievances.”
This was during a press conference that was organized by the Uganda chamber of mines and petroleum (UCMP) to announce the progress of the preparations for the 2017 mineral wealth creation conference that will take place on 3nd and 4th of October at Serena hotel in Kampala.
Under the theme; ‘minerals knocking on the door for economic transformation of Uganda’, the conference will be attended by high profile speakers in the mining sector from all around the world as well the local players in the mining sector who will meet to discuss, share knowledge on how the minerals can be used to transform African countries to developed states.
Speaking at the same conference, UCMP chairman, Elly Karuhanga, said the conference is mainly intended to propagate and sensitize Ugandans and foreigners to take interest in minerals in Uganda for economic development and wellbeing of the people.
Development Minerals are materials that are mined, processed, manufactured and used domestically in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and agriculture.
The sector includes the mining of industrial minerals, construction materials, dimension stones and semi-precious stones