The economic challenges facing Zimbabwe characterised by high levels of unemployment, cash shortages and economic stagnation is pushing men and women in Zimbabwe to turn to Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) as a means of seeking a livelihood. Today, the sector supports an estimated 500,000 miners directly and over a million people indirectly. The Covid-19 pandemic could send more people in the ASM sector as many people lose their employment and poverty increases. ASGM is no longer a peripheral economic activity in Zimbabwe. Just as the informal economy, it has become a key sector for the national economy. In 2018, gold deliveries from the ASM sector exceeded those from large-scale producers, demonstrating the centrality of the sub-sector to Zimbabwe’s economy.In a recent study by SARW on The Political Economy of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining formalisation in Zimbabwe a key finding noted was that despite the central role ASM plays in the national economy as a major source of income, the government has failed to integrate it into the formal economy.As a result, it remains an informal activity, characterised by exploitative labour arrangements, violence, revenue leakages, and unsafe occupational, health and environmental practices.
The Community of Practice (CoP) marks the start of a series of discussions that will be facilitated by various actors working on efforts to promote good governance and sustainable development of Zimbabwe’s ASM sector. The webinar on Towards an ASM Formalisation Framework in Zimbabwe will be an experience sharing session on how different actors are working to resolve the problems associated with the informalisation of the sector.