Azeb Belete – Impact of SUMM Project to Environmental Stewardship in Mining Sector of Ethiopia


The “Supporting the Ministry of Mines” (SUMM) in Ethiopia is a six-year Global Affairs Canada(GAC) funded project led by CESO-CIRDI. The project is designed to strengthening the capacity and organizational management of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Mines (MoM) at operational and strategic levels. The project’s ultimate objectives are to improve resource governance and sustainable long-term management of the Ethiopian mining sector.

The project aims to enhance data acquisition capacity of the Geological Survey of Ethiopia (GSE), and strengthen mineral licensing and administration institutions of the MoM. Overall, the project aims to design and implement priority capacity-building interventions, systems development and organizational initiatives to support country-driven strategies to encourage increased revenue generation and transparency, mitigation of negative environmental impacts and stimulation of sustainable economic growth.

SUMM project has done a lot of capacity development training and enhanced the capacity of Ethiopia MoM, Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), and the regional mine bureaus on Environmental & Social Impact Assessment, Community Development Projects & Social Management Approaches, evaluation and management of community beneficiation and conflict resolution of resource development projects and occupational health & safety aspects of mining. During project inception period training need assessment was the major instrument used to identify the gaps of MoM and other stakeholders and it is used to enhance their capacity on the identified areas. SUMM Project has done research with University of British Colombia on Ethiopia’s ESIA process and come up with a Roadmap for ESIA of Ethiopian Mining Sector. Implementation of the roadmap and the continuous capacity building training on ESIA, the sector showed immense improvement in ESIA review, approval process and compliance monitoring of ESMP implementation.

SUMM Project also provide technical and financial support for the development of “Directive to Regulate the Allocation of Community Development Fund Collected from Exploration and Mining Operation” (CDF) and implemented it in 2019. In principle, mining companies are expected to go beyond mitigating social impacts, and work towards creating lasting benefits that sustain people beyond the life of a mine but this was not the case when we see Ethiopian mining sector but after the introduction of this directive there has been a lot of improvement in livelihood and beneficiations of community. For instance, after the introduction of CDF in 2019 until now twenty-two community development projects has been implemented in different regions of the country. But when we see the previous performance there were only 8 projects implemented within 10 years. If countries work together with development partners in capacity development in areas of ESIA and community development achieving the sustainable resource development goal will be at ease.


Azeb Belete & Fitsum Assefa,

Azeb Belete, SUMM Project – Program Officer, Mrs. Azeb Belete is an Environmental expert with a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences and a Master of Science Degree in Geo-Environmental Systems analysis. Azeb has rich experience in the mining industry, as an Environmental expert. Azeb brings years of hands-on experience as a hydrogeologist, environmental engineering and mine safety, environmental and social baseline studies, environmental hazards, sanitation and hygiene studies.

Fitsum Assefa, SUMM Project – Deputy Director, Mr. Fitsum Assefa is a senior Geoscience expert with a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences and a Master of Art Degree in Business Administration & Management. Fitsum has rich experience in the mining industry, as Exploration Geologist. Fitsum brings years of hands-on experience as Exploration geologist in base metals and petroleum exploration, directing projects.