Artisanal and small-scale mining in Ethiopia: Scoping study for a comprehensive survey

Policy brief Firms

  • The mineral sector remains underdeveloped in Ethiopia. The share of this industry in GDP has been less than 1% in recent years.
  • The sector is dominated by artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), which employs more than 1.2 million people from rural communities and urban youth.
  • The main objective of this scoping study is to identify and isolate issues that need to be studied more comprehensively and that could lead to a markedly improved impact on the economy.
  • The findings suggest that the use of rudimentary tools is pervasive and mining and processing recoveries will remain low unless improved equipment and technologies are used. Laws related to the sector are inadequate and inappropriate in most cases. Illegality is rife in the sector and mining cooperatives are largely ineffective.
  • There is potential for ASM to contribute significantly to the national economy. Issues of smuggling, limited access to markets and financial services, inadequate mineral value-addition and lack of livelihoods diversification have significantly hindered the growth of this sector.