The chairperson of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Roel Nieuwenkamp, has urged global mineral dealers not to shy away from buying Rwanda’s minerals, saying the system in place is transparent.

“My message to international buyers is don’t walk away from Rwanda. Don’t walk away from the region. Work together in a multi-state manner to ensure that your mineral sourcing is done responsibly,” Nieuwenkamp said.

allAfrica.com reports that he was speaking here at the close of a four-day summit organised by the OECD, ( the mother of the mineral traceability and tagging scheme), in partnership with the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Nieuwenkamp praised Rwanda’s mining sector as professional in implementing regional and international guidelines that curb illegal mining.

He told the more than 350 delegates who attended the summit that: “What we see here is a professional system, and it is good to see that what we work on in a multi-state process is something concrete ‒  you see the mineral tagging being done in the professional way here in Rwanda,” Nieuwenkamp added.

“Looking at Rwanda, we are certain that the system works and provides experiences on the ground that we can learn from to strengthen the system for responsible sourcing and scale up,” said Nieuwenkamp.

Rwanda’s mineral sector employs more than 35,000 people and has been growing at a rate of 10% in revenue and volume since 1999, according to statistics from the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Rwanda’s mineral volume last year stood at 8,000t and fetched US$136.6 million. The government’s plan is to increase these figures to 18,000t and US$400 million by 2017.

Source: allAfrica.com. For more information, click here.

Picture: Chairperson of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Roel Nieuwenkamp.