Addis Ababa The mining and minerals export which Ethiopia considers as one of its main foreign currency earners has registered disappointing performance during the past nine months.
The country earned only 39.6 million U.S dollars against the planned 766.9 USD in the stated period, Ministry of Mines and Petroleum revealed today.
Only 8.85 percent of the target was attained by the ministry, according to Geremew Negasa, Planning and Evaluation Director at the ministry.
To correct this huge mismatch, ministry officials said they have embarked upon deep institutional reforms at all level in order to maximize the revenue in foreign currency during the coming budget year.
Speaking to journalists about the dismal performance of the sector, Mines and Petroleum Minister Samuel Urkato pointed out that the major factors that contributed to the low performance were peace and security, illegal mining, corruption, and rent-seeking, among others.
However, the minister pointed out that Ethiopia is in the final stages of reforming the untapped oil and mining potentials.
In connection with this, Samuel particularly stated that the ministry is going to establish a Mining Center of Excellence and Special Technical Committee to solve the challenges.
As some 160 companies are operational in sector, the ministry hopes to attract more foreign investors, he indicated.
We have to develop this sector at any cost in order to stabilize the national economy, the minister vowed.
According to the nine month performance report, mining companies produced and exported 646.304 kgs of gold, 1354.27 cubic meters of marble and 145.680 tons of tantalum and earned 39.6 US dollars, which has shown almost 100 percent decline when compared with the foreign currency earned last year during same period.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency