WOMEN in various economic sectors have said they need Government to financially assist them so that they can positively contribute to the 2030 goal of a middle-income economy.
Speaking in an online executive dialogue on women’s contribution to Zimbabwe’s vision 2030 last week, Zimbabwe Miners Federation Vice President and a Chrome Miner, Ms Lindiwe Mpofu said access to capital and foreign currency was affecting women in the mining sector as well as the male counterparts.
“Access to capital and access to foreign currency affects the mining industry as a whole. There is also need for banking sector inclusion as we are yet to see a lot of banks embrace mining as an industry that they will fund and make programmes available for small scale miners. Some of the banks, Metbank and CBZ have introduced facilities for small scale miners but we still need more banks to initiate more programmes so that we have more access to capital and different types of facilities accessible to different miners,” I believe a show of support within governments budget would help motivate the financial sector said Ms Mpofu.
She said chrome mining was capital intensive because of the machinery aspect, and other mining sectors gold and semi-precious also required assistance with machinery, hence there was a need for financial assistance to encourage more women to venture into mining.
“We have brought before Government the issue of chrome pricing. I also sit as a consultative committee member of the Minerals and Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) to try and make sure the issue of chrome pricing is addressed. Chrome miners are subjected to pricing as low as $12, which is unacceptable hence it is important for chrome miners as individuals to understand the worth of chrome and get the proper pricing ranges.”
Ms Mpofu said there was need for the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to take action on the chrome policy as well as introduce the cadastre system and need for government to consider reorganising its department to avail mining engineers and geologists to supportsmall scale mining operations. These services used to be free and should be reactivated within the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. She added that women in the mining sector were still facing challenges associated with discrimination.
Ayana Africa Travel managing director Ms Tina Nyabonda-Mubwanda said more inclusiveness of women at the level of policy making and operating in the tourism sector was essential. She said the tourism as an industry was not an easy or cheap one to start as it was also capital intensive when it came to setting up lodges and any other infrastructure related.
“We need to see a lot of Government support in terms of funding smaller operators coming into the industry. Also, we need to see more information about our own country being available on more digital platforms so that the tourism sector can be boosted more on the platforms,” she said. Sunday News