By Hillary Munedzi
Integrating the gender perspective in the mining industry is pertinent as Zimbabweans in the diaspora join the world as the scramble for mineral resources in the Global South intensifies.
WeMine Private Limited a company that specializes in mine pegging and prospecting urged the diaspora community to invest in the mining industry as it feels the resources are being plundered by mining multinational companies with the country realizing little or no value from its vast mineral base.
Despite the economic turbulence prevalent in the country, mining investors and Governments are gravitating towards the African continent to ensure their companies can procure enough metals to feed an accelerating net-zero push.
Western sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine are forcing metal supply chains to reconfigure along geopolitical lines. This increases the appetite for major miners towards Africa, leaving few alternatives on the table as demand outstrips supply.
“As WeMine, we have noticed that there is a high demand for mines that are being registered by the Chinese, especially for lithium, nickel, Copper, and gold. As a company, we want to empower our own people to be part of this mining rush. We urge the diaspora community to invest in the mining industry, especially in Zimbabwe and we can facilitate the process as we are working hand in glove with the Ministry of Mines.
“In our database, we have a myriad of mining sites that our own people can exploit and make this country great. We know that investing in the mining business takes courage but as WeMine, we are committed to making sure your investment is safe, ” said Nyasha Magadhi, the Managing Director at WeMine.
Women in mining communities turn to suffer economic inequalities in relation to accessing the benefits of extractive projects, while disproportionately bearing the cost as they turn to suffer more than men in losing their livelihood as mining investors look towards the Global South for mining concessions.
Women in mining communities are more likely to be subjected to sexual violence and rape than other women, with the latter accounting for 30% of the global artisanal small-scale mining (ASM) reaching 50% in Africa. Engaging women at the helm of running concessions in mining communities will reduce violence against women. It is pertinent that women in the diaspora must take interest in investing in the mining industry. WeMine has facilitated the acquisition of a mine for its first female client based in the UK.
“The best way to become part of something is to get involved. There may be several ways and different levels of getting in, but nothing beats action. From conducting research in order to familiarize with systems and processes through to direct investment and forming workable partnerships, one requires the right mindset for it.
“There are challenges associated with satellite management. The general perception is that it can only work if you’re on the ground. However, we need to remember that great businesses are built on values and principles as opposed to physical presence of those who head them. There is a need to adopt working systems with checks and balances,” said Mrs. Janet Gobvu-Kadiyo who invested in her own personal capacity and is a member of Rural Enterprise Development Trust.
Mrs. Gobvu applauded the working relationship she had with WeMine and how the process was conducted at the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. This highlights the commitment of the Second Republic to creating a better working environment towards achieving a US$12 billion mining economy by 2023.
“I recommend taking time to look into the work and values of WeMine . I like their drive to encourage young Zimbabweans into the mining sector. Where there is a vision there is a future. Of course as with everything, I do urge everyone to do their own due diligence. Based on my experience, I believe WeMine will stand up to the challenge and deliver to their undertakings,” she said.