Tanzania is blessed with conducive geological environment representing all the known stratigraphic formations in the world ranging from Achaean to recent.

These geological formations host a variety of minerals such as gemstones (Tanzanite, diamonds, emerald, tsavorite, ruby and sapphire), metallic minerals (gold, tin, nickel, iron ore, rare earth element, copper, PGM and lead), industrial minerals (limestone, gypsum, phosphate, kaolin, bauxite and graphite), building materials (sand and gravel) and energy minerals (coal, uranium).

In promoting value-added activities in gemstones, The Government of United Republic of Tanzania through the Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) has established Tanzania Gemological Centre (TGC) to promote and facilitate value addition activities in Tanzania in line with the Mineral Policy of Tanzania, which emphasizes value addition activities on minerals.

On 23 April, 2015 TGC was officially inaugurated by Honorable George Simbachawene, the Minister for Energy and Minerals.

In his speech, The Minister said that value addition activities in minerals create employment, improve local skills in mining industry and increase income. Therefore, he emphasized that these benefits can be realized if and only if value addition activities are undertaken within the country.

However, he said that to be able to carry out value addition activities locally, it is important to have the necessary technical skills, access to capital and adequate infrastructure and facilities such as TGC.

The Centre is currently running a lapidary course in collaboration with Tanzania Mineral Dealers Association (TAMIDA) since November, 2014. This course is taught by a highly experienced and knowledgeable instructor in lapidary and jewelry design & manufacturing from Sri Lanka.

This programme will produce graduates, who are self-enterprising and able to meet the challenges of the gemstone industry in the country. Also, it will develop self-realization and entrepreneurship skills that will enable the graduates to be self employed and result into socio-economic development.

Other courses which will be taught in the near future include: -

(i) The science of gemology;

(ii) Jewelry design and manufacturing;

(iii) Ornamental stone working (carving, tumbling, beading);

Also, a gemstone testing laboratory & certification, gemology library and gem & jewelry museum will be established.

The Ministry of Energy and Minerals has also launched initiatives aimed at upgrading the TGC into an internationally accredited gemological institute.