Rwanda is keen to lure Zimbabwean mining professionals to cover a skills gap in that country that could be detrimental to the East African country’s realisation of its mining goals.
The Rwandese extended the human capital appeal to Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura who was in Kigali, Rwanda, for the East and Central African Mining Conference last week.
Deputy Minister Kambamura was invited to the conference under the auspices of the mining cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in August between the two countries’ ministries of mines.
The conference brings together mining executives, investors and Governments from East and Central Africa in pursuit of creating a platform under which private sector players can participate fully in the exploitation of mineral deposits.
Zimbabwe, Deputy Minister Kambamura said, was there to market the vast mineral investment potential that is abundant in the country.
Rwanda is fertile ground for investors due to the ease of doing business index the country enjoys.
“This started when the President (Mnangagwa) went to Rwanda and opened this avenue for cooperation, which was then followed by the signing of a MOU between our two ministries responsible for mining,” said Deputy Minister Kambamura.
“While I was there to pursue our own interests as a country, the Rwandans were particularly keen on extending an invite to us for our professionals in the field of mining, to come and work in Rwanda under a Government to Government framework.
“They have huge respect for our professionals who are also revered across the world so there is need for us to sit down and see how we can be useful to them in that regard. It is also good for us in that we have a number of these professionals who are out of employment,” he said.
The skills gap in Rwanda is a result of the civil war that ravaged the now booming Rwandan economy and disrupted essential services like education.
Currently, the Rwandan mining sector is recruiting most of its professionals from across the region but these are coming through mining investors. However, the government prefers a more coordinated approach where these professionals can then participate in skills transfer programmes.
The two governments are also discussing the possibility of Rwanda sending students to study in mining-related fields at local universities and colleges.