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Ethiopia : 63 mining licenses stripped off over alleged poor performance

Takele Uma, Minister for Mining and Petroleum (Photo : FBC)

December 15, 2020 

Ethiopia stripped of 63 mining licenses over the Ministry of Mining and Petroleum called “poor performance.” According to state media, EBC, 38 of the companies that lost licenses were engaged in extraction and production while the remaining were said to be engaged in research.

It is the former acting Mayor of Addis Ababa City — Takele Uma —, who was implicated in corruption involving illegal transfer of land and condominium units, that is currently in charge of the Ministry of Mining and Petroleum. 

It is unclear as to how his ministry measured the performance of the companies whose license is now cancelled. 

One of the first actions that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government took in the sector in May 2018, barely a month after taking over power, was to suspend the gold mining license of Saudi-born Ethiopian Billionaire on alleged grounds of “environmental protection.”  However, it was apparent that the gold mine issue was politicized in the Oromo region of Ethiopia. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Takele Uma is claiming that his ministry secured over $302 million from the sector in the past five months. He is cited as saying that 4,083 kilograms of gold was exported from which Ethiopia earned $299 million dollars.

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