Home Economy Women miners get grants, loans to upscale productivity 

Women miners get grants, loans to upscale productivity 

by Business News Report

Women Miners in Africa, IWoMA, has launched facility for women miners with access to loans and grants to upscale their productivity. The Director and Head, IWoMA, Dr Comfort Asokoro-Ogaji, explained why the launch of the Women Miners Grants and Loans Readiness Project, which was as a result of the harsh conditions women miners find themselves to operate. Asokoro-Ogaji also said these women require soft loans to acquire minor mining equipment and safety gadgets, which will increase their profits and as well maintain safe working conditions. The Loans Readiness Project is not a loan scheme, but a project that aims to enhance the capacity of Women Miners for loans and grants. 

IWoMA, whose core mandate is supporting and facilitating positive changes for women miners across Africa. Therefore, it urged the social sector workers to increase interest and efforts in improving the living standards and operational safety of women miners in rural mining communities. Meanwhile, IWoMA is also ready to work with local NGOs as an intermediary organisation committed to ensuring the application of Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls particularly in the solid minerals sector.  She said “this is why IWoMA has launched our Grants and Loans Readiness Project for women NGOs and women owned artisanal mining (ASM) companies across the states. We are committed to this cause and will continue to encourage capacity building for women through our platforms and networks. 

“Hopefully the miners should start qualifying for loans and grants through this project. We look forward to starting measuring the impacts of the project in the next few months.”  IWoMA’s Dr Adeola Olajugbagbe, pointed out that the harsh conditions under which women miners work in communities demand more urgent measures, more proactive mitigation actions and greater collaboration among stakeholders. Noting that women miners are exposed to various hazards, Olajugbagbe said that they can be empowered through training to expand their scope and venture into broader opportunities such as equipment leasing, ownership and partnerships in mineral processing centres and other relevant value added services.

Also, during the launch, a member of IWoMA, Faith Mutete, a gold and lithium woman miner from Zimbabwe, shared her experiences, saying the market is now dominated by foreigners who purchase mineral commodities from her company before but no longer do so, because they have established their own machinery and mines. Consequently, she faces the challenge of sourcing funding to boost her production to a level competitive enough to attract buyers in the competitive space with foreign companies. She said she needed to acquire essential equipment such as jaw crushers, gold shaking table and other minor equipment to boost her production as a local miner to compete effectively in the industry. 

Related Posts