NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 – The Association of Women in Extractives and Energy in Kenya (AWEIK) has urged sector players to encourage the participation of women in the mining sector.
This was said during a site visit to Kenya’s largest mine, Base Titanium in Kwale County to engage with women working within the mining industry.
The visit come at a time when there has been a push to have more women take up science courses and technical trades in a bid to boost gender inclusiveness in male dominated sectors.
According to a study conducted in May 2017 by Adam Smith International in collaboration with International Women in Mining, globally the direct participation of women in large scale mining activities along the value chain is less than 10 percent.
Women in management and leadership positions are at a 5 percent in mining companies in the world.
“The extractives sector is growing and this can provide women with opportunities to have a big impact in the sector. We need to ensure that women have access to financing to ensure business ownership. Women-led businesses can thrive in the extractives value chain. It has been proven that investing and working with women guarantees a return on investment, both at a domestic and a commercial level.” Patron of AWEIK Betty Gikonyo.
However, Base Titanium the largest mining company in Kenya is setting the pace on gender inclusion in mining companies in Africa.
“Our Kwale Mineral Sands Project consists of a workforce that is 16 percent female while women in management positions stand at an impressive 30 percent. A record high globally which even the most advanced economies in the world have not been able to achieve. By investing and empowering women we empower a community, “said Melba Kapesa Wasunna, External Affairs Manager at Base Titanium.
The Mining sector in Kenya contributes only 0.8 percent to the Kenyan annual GDP but the ministry of petroleum and mining envisages a 5 percent contribution by 2025.