Our forefathers’ land has been grabbed by the mining companies: community perspectives on diamond mining in Tanzania

Published 14th June 2021

On 14th June 2021, Dr. Madaha presented a paper at the DevRes2021 conference. The conference was held from June 14-16, 2021. The theme of the conference was, “Advancing Sustainable Transformation.” The conference was organized by Umeå University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Swedish Research Council, Sida, and Formas. The title of the paper was, "Our forefathers’ land has been grabbed by the mining companies: community perspectives on diamond mining in Tanzania."


Although Tanzania is still a lower-middle-income country, it remains one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural resources. The country has large reserves of Tanzanite, Gold, natural gas, and Diamond. In the mid-1980s, the Tanzanian government made market reforms that shifted its role from the owner of mining companies to that of the regulator and facilitator in the sector. Despite the reforms, Tanzanians remain one of the poorest people in the world. Of particular importance is ongoing unrest between privately owned mining companies and impoverished surrounding communities. Using a PAR methodology, this article presents ongoing conflicts between diamond mining companies and the surrounding communities. The article also presents possible solutions to the ongoing challenges. Overall, the findings highlight the presence of social calamities including physical torture, murder, corruption, and Gender Based Violence that are committed to the communities. Nonetheless, there are some attempts by the local communities to resist the oppression. The ongoing social calamities and associated coping strategies, at least from the local communities’ perspective, are hardly known. In an attempt to contribute to the literature on extractive industries and society, the article has documented such experiences from a local community perspective. The article also adds to the literature on methodologies for studying the interactions between the mining sector and surrounding communities. The article responds to Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger), 5 (Gender Equality), 10 (Reduce Inequality), and 11 (sustainable cities and communities).

The publications by Madaha can be accessed at [click here]