A high-level Kenya mining week forum in Nairobi ended prematurely following the nationwide opposition demonstrations that have left tens of people dead with hundreds of others injured after a confrontation with police.
“The Association for Women in Energy and Extractives in Kenya and the Kenya Chamber of Mines wish to announce the postponement of the Kenya Mining Week 9Gemstone Summit) that was scheduled for the 19 July 2023 at Radisson Blue Hotel Upper Hill due to the planned anti-government protest,” read the announcement seen by Coast Times Digital,
They added that This is not a cancellation but a postponement of the Kenya Mining Week to a later date that will be communicated to our stakeholders in the shortest time possible,” read the announcement.
The organizers made it clear that the safety and security of participants were their utmost priority forcing them to postpone the third-day mining week engagement plans.
“We wish to convey our heartfelt appreciation to all delegates, sponsors and partners for their unwavering support and participation in the first and second days of the Kenya Mining Week (Investment forum and Gold convention),” they added.
The annual event themed ‘Prompting and inclusive approach in Kenya’s’ Mining sector to drive Economic Growth kicked off well on Monday 17 July 2023 at Radisson Blue Hotel.
High-level panel discussions attracted the attention of national governments, counties and international organizations as well as countries across the globe.
Among the issues discussed were leveraging global demands for minerals to accelerate Kenya’s development, reimaging the links between construction minerals and Kenya’s’ national development and implications and prospects for Kenyans preparing for a mineral-intense low carbon global economy.
Also fostering sustainable partnerships for community development, a revolutionary approach in leveraging partnerships for artisanal miners’ Gold Sector Growth and Contribution to the gold mining sector in Africa from social, economic and Environmental perspectives among others.
The event was postponed during its second day after opposition leader Raila Odinga held a meeting at the same hotel a day before his weekly countrywide demonstrations.
Abubakar Hassan principal secretary state department of investment said that the country’s mineral wealth is vast and diverse offering immense possibilities for economic development, job creation and sustainable growth that need collaboration to unlock its full potential.
“When Odinga held a meeting at the same hotel we were that is when the conference was called off because the leaders present including Members of Parliament advised that it was not safe,” said one of the participants.
Uganda Minister of Mining Ruth Nankabirwa and Base Titanium external affairs general manager Simon Wall was among the officials who attended the mining week.
Geologist and Gemstone Center official Edward Omito said that the Ministry for Mining is doing a lot in terms of value addition on Gemstones.
The national government projects that the mining industry has the potential to contribute to 10 per cent of the country’s GDP.
Noreen Kidunduhu the Association of Women in Energy and Extractives in Kenya chair said that by fostering an inclusive approach stakeholders aspire to unleash the true potential of the mining sector and propel economic growth throughout the country.
‘The expo and conference were a great one with issues discussed in the first two days being eye-catching. Kwale was represented by over 50 delegates with the presence of top ministry officials being great,” he said.
He noted discussion about artisanal mining and value addition was very important with professional’s panel discussions tackling issues around mining.
Barroh said that the conference also saw the attention of mining giants from South Africa, Ghana and the international community.
Kwale Mining Alliance, Kenya Chambers of Mines, Transparency International, and the Association for Women in the Energy and Extractives in Kenya are among the organizations that attended the Kenya Mining Week Expo and conference.