Tanzania has finally completed a 24km wall around a mine located in the country’s north. President John Pombe Magufuli officially inaugurated the Great Mirerani Wall on Friday (April 6) to prevent the theft of tanzanite, a rare gemstone.
The 15 mile long wall was built within a seven-month period. In September 2017, Magufuli ordered the military to build the wall “to control illegal mining and trading activities”.
The blue-violet tanzanite gemstone is found only in the East African nation, the country is one of the region’s biggest economies only ranking behind Ethiopia and Kenya.
Smuggling of minerals is a headache that most countries are struggling with. The move comes months after the president ordered renegotiation of mining concessions with multinational companies.
Magufuli is reputed for his anti-corruption stance which has led to the firing of top government officials. Opposition, rights groups and the church have, however, decried what they say are dictatorial tendencies of the president who took over in 2015.