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Economic Contributions of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Kenya: Gold and Gemstones

The economic role of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in Kenya is still under-researched and poorly understood by many national and international decision makers. Robust evidence is lacking to comprehend the current economic contribution of ASM in Kenya; how the sector is formally or informally coordinated, as well as how many and which demographic groups are participating. Kenya is a lower-middle income with an informal sector representing 83% of the country’s employment. A wide range of minerals, both metallic and industrial, is known to occur in the country. The Government aims to increase the mining sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). In 2015, the mining sector’s share already reached 0.8% and, the government now aims for 10% by 2030 through value addition and the implementation of the recently approved Mining and Minerals Policy (2016). The Mining and Minerals Policy (a 20 year vision), combined with the new Mining Act outline a long term mining strategy for the country. Although large-scale mining companies operate in the country, ASM continues to remain a significant source of employment for Kenyans. Large-scale mining (LSM) currently employs around 9,000 workers in the country. Although no official data is available, the ASM population was estimated at about 146,000 people in 2012. The sector remains largely informal, but produces around 60% of the country’s gemstones, most of its gold, quarried stones and other construction materials.

Kenya recently passed its long-awaited Mining Act (12/2016) and new mining regulations are in an advanced phase of drafting and public consultation. These two legal instruments lay out the new legal framework for the mining sector in the country, including the ASM sector. However, other laws and regulations will need to be promulgated to fully develop and refine this framework.

Additional Info

Author(s)
Dr. Jennifer Hinton, Dr. Felix Hruschka
Publication Year
2018
Associated Partners
UKAID, Pact, ARM (Alliance for Responsible Minerals)
Language
English
Publishing Institution Webpage
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-international-development
Data Source Classification
Program Report
Research Type
Both
Research Methodology
Primary - INTERVIEW, Primary - SURVEY, Secondary - PREVIOUS RESEARCH, Secondary - OFFICIAL STATISTICS
Thematic Tags
Economic, Export, Government Revenue, Income, Legal, Laws and Regulations
Minerals
Gemstones, Gold
Region
Sub-Saharan Africa
Country
Kenya
Last Updated
December 20, 2019