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From the foothills of milima ya dhahabu

From the foothills of milima ya dhahabu

The last time I wrote something about my recent trip to the northwestern part of Tanzania, I was on my way to Geita. I am writing this piece from Fitty Hotel, at the foot of Geita Hill. This elevation is part of the range of elevations my tour guide refers to as milima ya dhahabu (gold mountains).

This chain of gold deposits has been under exploitation since the 1930s. However, it is until the turn of the century when the hills started attracting big investors. Speaking of big investors, earlier today, I visited a company known as Geita Gold Mining (GGM).

Having paid more than USD 1.7 billion in taxes since the acquisition of its Geita concession, GGM is one of the biggest taxpayers in Tanzania. The staggering amounts of taxes, pumped into the national coffers by the big boys, has contributed to the construction of the network of roads enabling me to travel around the country seamlessly.

GGM is a subsidiary of AngloGold Ashanti, one of the most established mining companies in the world. With operations in nine countries and four continents, the latter’s group of investors comprises some of the strongest financial institutions globally.

Back to Fitty Hotel, the next table is occupied by a gold dealer and a couple of miners. They are speaking the language of gold. While GGM and other juggernauts are in the league of their own, there is room for small-scale diggers and traders.

Before I leave Geita, I will visit Soko Kuu La Dhahabu, the most organized gold market in Sub-Saharan Africa. My experiences and observation at the market will be shared right here. Stay tuned.

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