$12 Billion to be Earmark by the Extractive Sector for Women Inclusion in Zimbabwe Government Prodded
By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone– The Administration of Zimbabwe prodded to prioritize chances for women by reserving extractive sector percentages for women and empowers systems that assure inclusion of women in the $12 billion mining policy.
Mumbling during an essential dialogue on women participation in the mining sector towards accomplishing the $12 billion economy enabled by Zimbabwe Allied Diamond Workers Union (ZIDAWU), women said they are being left behind. The administration, they noted, must give tax inducements to companies which contribute upstream female employment, decree minimum quotas of women employment, and develop local procurement policies that ensure equal access and opportunities for women.
Abby Musiyazviriyo of Marange Development Trust (MDT) stated with the multitude of accessible upstream and downstream linkages in the mining sector, women can also carve openings for themselves. She said, “Vast upstream, downstream linkages in the mining value chain provides for investment in local content development, power, technology, infrastructure technology and improvement of livelihoods for sustainable development,”
Musiyazviriyo asserted, government must pursue (or amend existing) policies which incentive investors which maximize linkage creations which promote women empowerment and impose tax restrictions to those that outsource such linkages. She announced in the continent, there are extensive case studies including in South Africa, Botswana and Nigeria on how governments can influence upstream and downstream linkages, promote local content development and promote women participation in mining.
“These linkages are contextual applying to a specific area at a specific time and the opportunities that they present are highly dependent on the existing knowhow, expertise and legal framework in the areas where extraction of minerals is taking place.
“In seeking to develop these linkages, pro linkage policies should be crafted or the existing policies reformed to stipulate that companies must source domestic suppliers, impose import restrictions to incentivize downstream processing.
“Government should avoid using incentives like tax holiday and granting subsidies that are contingent to the sourcing of goods domestic. Furthermore government should be at the fore of linkage creation from the extractive sector.
“Policy makers should understand the variegated ways in which women are excluded and adversely incorporated in the mining sector so that their presence can be improved and women can continue to be visible and their representation in the sector can also improve,” affirmed Musiyazviriyo.
Sophia Takuva a small scale miner from Zvishavane lets out, giving quotas for women in the mining value chain independently, without formalization of artisanal mining may not be sufficient to boost extensive growth towards the $12 billion target.
She asserts that, while women can considerably participate in linkages in the mining sector, formalization will remove boundaries of entry and confirm that, government reaps high proceeds from low dangling alternatives like gemstone mining.
“There is need to open these areas for pegging and capacitate small scale miners with necessary equipment as soon as they finish registration and knowledge on basic gemstone mining and processing (gemstone finishing, cutting and polishing).
“In Chiadzwa for example, diamond field exploration of diamonds shows that there are reserves with low yields and grades, also there are gemstones like zircon, quarts and corundum these gemstone rich areas must then benefit local communities.
“We can reserve these areas for women and also ensure that beneficiation mechanisms are put in place to create employment and empower women to actively participate in value edition while show casing their crafting skills. This will bring in more revenue and selling of finished products brings more value to the minerals,” she told.
Takuva said government’s mines and mineral procedures must also be computerized and open up reserves for locals to peg and mine, with quotas reserved for women only, under close monitoring of bigger mining corporations. She said to achieve this transparency and accountability are key enablers to ensure exploitation of mineral resources gives birth to benefits for local developmental needs and ensure sustainable local content development.
“Women are there in the mining sector but they may be at the periphery that sometimes they may not be recognized because of the multi-tasking nature of mining.
“Although women and youth are at the periphery in the ASM sector they play a great role and can bring change if supported, these two groups face challenges with registration and this is fueled by a corrupt system that is slow in facilitating necessary processes in time.
“There is need for a computerized and accessible mining cadaster for transparency on licensing, we have artisanal gemstone miners where are the gemstones sold to, obliviously to the black market and the country loses,” told Takuva.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent
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