Zim needs more women miners, says Mining Chamber boss

The Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines (ZCM) President, Winston Chitando, says the country needs more women miners to balance the important sector.

Winston Chitando
Winston Chitando

There are less than 10 percent women miners in Zimbabwe which is dominated by men.

"The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe certainly would like to see increased enrollment of female candidates in mining disciplines at both the Zimbabwe School of Mines and the University of Zimbabwe," he said in an interview.

"The implementation of community share ownership schemes is the first step in the implementation of the indigenisation framework. These schemes will result in the implementation of various projects aimed at uplifting the standard of living of communities that host mining investments."

The Zimbabwe School of Mines says it is also making efforts to mainstream women in mining through trained-based affirmative action.

"In particular, the institute has opened traditionally male-dominated technical careers such as mining engineering, geology and mineral processing to women with the aim to increase their participation in the mining sector," a senior official said.

The ratio of women students at ZSM has risen to 19 percent since a new programme was launched in 2009, surpassing the institute's target of 15 percent.

The programme is called Gender Initiative Project, which sets an enrollment quota for female students at the institute.

Chitando said while the indigenisation programme would benefit women and some areas, he is, however, very worried that it could lead to "disproportionate development".

"There is the likelihood that that this (indigenisation programme) could result in disproportionate development in the communities benefiting those that have mines and uplifting the standards of living of them

"I urge the authorities to develop ways of developing communities that do not have mines at the same pace with those that have mines."

Post published in: Business

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