The participants in the symposium on "The Real Situation of Mining in Yemen" call on the government to take on its responsibility for promoting and protecting this promising economic investment sector
Date : 2012-07-09 10:13:53
In the symposium organized by Sheba Center for Strategic Studies (SCSS) today (July 9, 2012) in Sana'a under the title "The Real Situation of Mining in Yemen," the participants asserted that it is necessary to promote the promising mining sector and raise the society's awareness about its significance, highlighting its major role in boosting the national income and in providing job opportunities for the young people as well reducing unemployment.
The participants called on the government to live up to its responsibility and provide security and protection for local and international companies investing in the mining sector as well as facilitation through having a single-window system, efficient infrastructure and reduction in fuel prices in order to pave the way for international firms interested in investing in Yemen's mining area.
Also, the participants emphasized that it is necessary to continue political modernization and the gradual integration of the tribes into this politico-social process to become make an integral part of the Yemeni civil society in order to substitute the large-scale national loyalty to the state for the narrow loyalty to the tribe. In addition, they called for making amendments to the Mining Tax Act in line with international practices to attract the global mining firms.
The participants pointed to the importance of encouraging researchers to carry out archeological and historical studies aimed at examining ancient mining and mineral deposits. This can help create a link between historical, archeological and geological data, as ancient mines are considered the key to success in the present and a guiding precursor to the future.
As was pointed out by the participants, efforts should be directed at helping Yemeni geologists and graduates to develop their technical and technological knowledge, which can be achieved through improving the tertiary and vocational education to become closer to the pressing needs of the labor market. Also, the government should facilitate procedural formalities and other dealings in the mining sector and other related sectors; it has to dispense with all bureaucratic obstacles, protect the rights of investors, and develop transportation means and public services.
The symposium, which was attended by professional researchers, academics, economists, parliamentarians, members of the Shura Council and other representatives of the diplomatic corp, and chaired by Dr. Ahmed A. Saif, the SCSS' executive director, discussed a number of working papers.
The first paper was presented by Professor Khalid al-Selwey under the title "The Real Situation of Yemen's Mines". The paper reviewed ancient mines and recent mineral discoveries in order to identify and examine ancient mineral deposits and their relations to the recent mineral discoveries. The researcher reviewed the major ancient mines in Yemen and their locations, illustrating his presentation with photos, diagrams and maps which make it certain that ancient Yemenis were knowledgeable of and skilled at mining and well aware of its role in establishing urban centers and old sub-states.
The second paper was under the title "Obstacles to Mining in Yemen" and presented by Eng. Khalid al-Duba'ey, the CEO of Thani Dubai Mining. The researcher reviewed the most salient barriers and challenges to Yemen's mining sector, the top of which are those security and political ones, which in turn are essentially related to the government and its policies as well as its ability to impose its authority and control over the country. He also pointed to some administrative, social and other barriers such as: administrative ones including licenses, permits and other bureaucratic, legislative an financial formalities; environmental ones; infrastructure; social obstacles related to the state-community relationship; and technological/technical ones related to the ability of the concerned firm to employ the state-of-the-art technology during the exploration stages and the examination and extraction of ore types.
On the other hand, Dr. Amir al-Sabri, the acting person of Yemen's Authority of Geological Area and Minerals, presented a paper entitled "Yemen's Mining Sector: Reality and Prospects". He highlighted the key role of the mining sector in: providing job opportunities; training and qualifying local workers; developing infrastructure; changing social lifestyle; supplying the local market with mineral ores; creating new local industries; and providing the state's coffers with millions of dollars earned through taxation.
Al-Sabri also asserted that the mining sector is one of the promising sectors in Yemen as a result of a variety of factors such as: geological diversity; the availability of geological information, reports and maps; the existing legislations that encourage investment in mining; and Yemen's distinguished geographical location. According to the researcher, Yemen boasts of a variety of minerals (metallic and nonmetallic), and if optimally used, these resources can provide the state's coffers with millions of dollars and thus Yemen would not be in need of any international aids.
In addition to these papers, various comments and discussions on the part of other participants enriched the symposium, focusing on the present situation of mining and remedies to challenges and obstacles facing the mining sector in Yemen, the most important of which are security, stability, infrastructure, and the society's awareness of the significance of mining in Yemen.