By Kiyimba Bruno

The Executive Director for the Global Rights Alert Winfred Ngabiirwe has expressed the urgent need for Ugandans to get involved in the mining sector.

Speaking this, Ngabiirwe was giving her opening remarks in the two days all People’s conference on mining in Uganda that is taking place at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

Under the theme “Promoting inclusiveness in the governance of Uganda’s mineral wealth”, Ngabiirwe said that mineral wealth is for Ugandans and it’s these people who need to decide on how it must be used.

She added that land owners have a right to be protected as the minerals are excavated.

“Mineral wealth is located on land. We all know there is no free land hence land owners must be protected on this issue” Said Ngabiirwe.

It is on this note that Ngabiirwe urged for an urgent need to regulate the law and enforce the law by those who are supposed to do so.

However in the same conference, Mr. Bagabo Paul from the Natural Resource Governance Institute aired the grievances that are bitterly facing the sector.

According to Bagabo, the small companies are being swallowed by the bigger ones something which has given more room to mostly big companies to operate.

He added that due to the falling employment rate in the mining sector globally which is 3%, in the period of ten years many miners will be unemployed.

Bagabo on the other side noted that due to the continuous change in technology, certain minerals will still exist and this will continue to employ a few.

The function was officially opened by the Member of Parliament Igara East Hon Michael Maranga who urged  all people in the mining sector not to discriminate women since these are more likely to invest their money in education and other development sectors something which men might not be able to do.