Tanzania needs an all-inclusive legal and regulatory framework on the operations of the country’s extractive industry for purposes of safety, environment as well as resources revenue.
According to a final study on legal framework review for Tanzania Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TEITI), in so doing, the country needs to borrow a page from other jurisdictions.
The consultant who prepared the study, Elisha Mlingi, said the objective of the research was to review the current legal and regulatory framework governing extractive industries in Tanzania with a view to identify obstacles to the effective functioning of TEITI.
Others are to provide suggestions on how the obstacles identified may be addressed to ensure that its functions are given legal mandate, he said.
The overall recommendation arising from the study is the establishment of a comprehensive legal framework for the effective functioning of TEITI in accordance with the objectives, principles and criteria that established initiatives, Mlingi said.
It is further recommended that TEITI can effectively function in accordance with the objectives, principles and criteria that established Extractive Industries Transparent Initiative (EITI) if its mandate and operations are secured and guaranteed by an Act of Parliament.
The study has shown that there are many laws that hinder activities and operations of projects as they prohibit disclosures of information and provide penal sanctions for any person found guilty of disclosures, even TEITI officials.
Moreover, it was also established that there is no legal framework that guarantees its activities, he said.
In view of the findings, the study has recommended that a piece of legislation for purposes of establishing TEITI and providing for its operations and other related matters be considered, as of urgency, for enactment.
The proposed legislation, apart from putting in place a legal framework that guarantees project effective operations, should also assist in amending any other law that hinders its operations, the study added.
The legislation to be enacted should provide for the establishment of a Public Depository Office where all documents and information about activities related to extractive industries would be filed, compiled, kept and made available to the public.
It should require documents and/or reports eligible for deposit to be so deposited or submitted by persons and/or institutions responsible within prescribed time from the date the report or document is published.
The extractive firms which were identified for consultation include African Barrick Gold Limited, Geita Gold Mining Company Limited, Resolute Tanzania Limited, El Hilal Minerals Limited, Songas, Artumas Tanzania Limited, TanzaniteOne and Williamson Diamond Mine Limited.
TEITI, which currently under Energy and Minerals ministry, is also gearing up to conduct a nationwide sensitisation to stimulate the public on extractive resources revenue.