'The time is right' for dialogue about sustainable ASM in Tanzania

IIED is convening a multi-stakeholder dialogue on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in Tanzania. The locally-driven process will provide an opportunity to collaborate for better governance, greater representation and more safe and secure employment in the ASM sector.


IIED's second country dialogue on ASM began in Tanzania in September 2016 (Photo: Gabriela Flores/IIED)

There are about 1-1.5 million people involved in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in Tanzania. While many new ASM policies have been introduced in recent years, the sector continues to face many challenges preventing it from driving economic development and poverty reduction. A dialogue approach, that is both participatory and solution-oriented, could help bring about consensus-based reform in policy and practice. 

IIED's second country dialogue in a series of local multi-stakeholder dialogues on ASM started in Tanzania in September 2016. 

Tanzanian stakeholders agreed that IIED's dialogue programme is a welcome platform for improved communication among ASM stakeholders within Tanzania and globally, leading to greater trust and collaboration.

Stakeholders: we are ready for a dialogue focused on solutions

IIED heard from a wide variety of stakeholders representing government, ASM operators and mineworkers, women's groups, large-scale mining and international and civil society organisations. There was agreement that:

  • ASM needs to be recognised as an important part of the country's mining sector, with great potential to spur local economic development, particularly as part of the country's second national Five Year Development Plan
  • Tanzania has progressive ASM policies, but gaps in understanding, confidence, incentives, capacity and finance constrain their implementation as well as technical improvements in sites and local communities
  • Key issues to explore and debate as part of the dialogue include: strengthening technical and entrepreneurial skills, education, health and safety, geological information, access to finance and markets, and greater attention to gender issues, and
  • There is consensus that the time is right for an evidence-based, forward-looking, and transparent national dialogue for a more sustainable ASM sector in Tanzania. 

Laying the foundations for dialogue

IIED is convening dialogue processes in Ghana and Tanzania, and supporting GIZ in Madagascar (Image: IIED)IIED is now working with its Tanzanian partners to develop the research needed to inform the dialogue process, and to convene experts and specialists who will support the roll out of the programme. 

IIED is working in a number of countries to convene multi-stakeholder dialogues on artisanal and small-scale mining. Further locally driven processes are already under way in Ghana and Madagascar.

Related links


ASM dialogue programme: IIED scoping mission in Tanzania (2016), Steve Bass, Gabriela Flores-​Zavala, Fitsum Weldegiorgis, IIED project info


The Tiffany & Co Foundation

Ford Foundation


Fitsum Weldegiorgis (fitsum.weldegiorgis@iied.org), senior researcher, IIED's Shaping Sustainable Markets research group