The Kwale Project, Kenya’s largest mining scheme, has begun transforming the socio-economic status of residents in Kwale County less than five years since it was initiated, the country’s Vision 2030 Delivery Board has confirmed.
Run by Australian mining firm, Base Titanium Limited, the project has so far created a total of 3,400 jobs. Out of these 3,400 jobs, 624 are direct jobs with 96 percent of employees under this category being Kenyan citizens.
The Board, an organization that seeks to drive development in Kenya with specific benchmarks set to be met by the year 2030, stated that for every direct job created at the mine, 4.3 jobs are supported in the wider economy. Kwale residents account for 64 percent of the total direct jobs created.
“With a focus on prioritizing local employment and a significant community development programme, we see the mining industry creating numerous employment opportunities and helping alleviate poverty,” said Vision 2030 Delivery Board Chairman, Dr. James Mwangi.
Speaking to journalists during a Vision 2030 Delivery Board tour of the Base Titanium Kwale mining sites, he added that over the last three years, the number of Kwale residents working for the company rose from 135 in February 2014 to 409 as at June 2017.
Meanwhile, the number of expatriates has reduced by close to 50 percent from 63 in February 2014 to 32 as at June 2017.
The number of expatriates employed at the firm now stands at 3 percent as more priority is given to locals, representing two-thirds of the total workforce.
A 2016 independent assessment by research group, Ernst and Young showed that Base Titanium operations supported 1,400 indirect jobs through the purchase of goods and services in the country.
A further 1,360 jobs have been supported by induced economic activity, mainly consumer spending due to direct and indirect employment.
Base Titanium made a direct contribution of Ksh7.6 billion ($70 million) to Kenya’s GDP in the 2016/2017 financial year and another Ksh3.4 billion ($300 million) through indirect and induced economic activity.
“The full implementation of the Project will make a significant contribution to the long-term development of Kenya under Vision 2030 particularly in the mining sector and to the economic empowerment of Kenyans,” said Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat, Director General, Dr. Julius Muia.