Members of Manyara Regional Miners Association in Tanzania are pushing for the establishment of an Export Processing Zone-EPZ in Mirereni Township to promote local development. The association which comprises 700 members is demanding that the Tanzanian government establishes an export processing zone for Tanzanite mineral in the township of Mirerani to spur local development.
The association which comprises 700 members is demanding that the Tanzanian government establishes an export processing zone for Tanzanite mineral in the township of Mirerani to spur local development.
Mirerani Township which is located close to Arusha has rich deposits for the mineral Tanzanite which is commonly used as a gemstone.
There are currently three major companies-Tanzanite One, Tanzanite Africa and Kilimanjaro Miners which are prospecting for the mineral in the area.
But the local miners claim the three major companies have not contributed to the development of the area because they export the mineral to process from outside countries. They argue that this has deprived the locals the opportunity to benefit from the mineral.
Albert Siloli, the Chairperson Mererani Township explains that the establishment of an export processing zone in the nearby Mererani Township will stimulate development because hundreds of people will be employed to work in the processing industries.
Siloli argues that the establishment of an export processing zone will put the economy in the hands of the locals and bring in place value addition.
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Mrisho Nyari, a local miner says the establishment of an export processing zone will boost the development of other small scale industries in the area.
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The miners accuse the government of Tanzania of failing to put in place infrastructural development since the mineral was discovered in Mirerani 26 years ago. Mirerani Township, the site of the proposed Export Processing Zon-EPZ was established in 2008 and currently has a population of 50,000 people.
The place remains underdeveloped with only five government aided schools and one health centre.
The Tanzanian government earns 20 million US dollars annually from the sale of Tanzanite mineral.