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April 21, 2024
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The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake

IWD: Alake pledges commitment to empowering women in mining sector

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By Martha Agas

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake has assured women in the mining sector of Federal Government`s commitment to training them with requisite skills necessary to thrive in the sector.

Alake gave the assurance during a virtual conference organised by the Women Miners Association to commemorate the annual International Women’s Day(IWD), on Friday.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Segun Tomori, the minister said that Africa remained committed to investing in women in the mining sector by building their skills.

He said the move would empower them to participate in the mining value chain and to compete favourably with their global counterparts.

Alake, who is also the Chairman of the African Minerals Strategy Group (AMSG), commended the women miners for their efforts in improving the plight of women in the sector and advocating for their advancement.

He emphasised the importance of investing in women’s development for leadership in the industry and in governance.

“ We live in a world in which no one, no gender must be left behind. This is the logic of progressive transformation that we desire.

“ The AMSG is committed to empowering women with appropriate skills to enable them participate in the mining sector value chain, from exploration and extraction to processing and commerce.

“ We support access to technical training in mining for our young women:

”We support start-up financial assistance for women mining entrepreneurs, and we champion the inclusion of women in the leadership of regulatory agencies,” he added.

According to him, under his leadership as chairman of AMSG, the group will initiate annual studies on Africa`s progress in key areas of the mining sector and present its findings during the next IWD.

He said the AMSG is determined to add value to its minerals resources, a strategy for wealth retention.

He explained that this would be through the formulation of policies that would discourage export of raw materials and encourage industrial processing of minerals into semi-finished goods for exports.

“ This will reduce the obnoxious legacy of unequal exchange, which African scholars see as the manifestation of neo-colonialism.

“ Let us elevate the quality of commerce with our trading partners by offering more value. The faithful execution of this policy will provide more jobs and deepen capital formation in the mining industry,“ he said.

In a similar development, the President of an NGO, Women In Mining, Mrs Janet Adeyemi has said that the organisation would continue to advocate for an enabling environment for support and progress of women in the mining sector.

Adeyemi said WIM had conducted capacity building programmes for women in the sector.

This, she said, included training in stone cutting and polishing in Plateau, as well as seeking opportunities for them in organisations such as the world bank.

She advocated for promotion of values and ethics within the mining profession, emphasising that this would encourage women to invest in and assume leadership positions within the sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the IWD is marked annually on March 8, with the theme for 2024 being: Investing in Women, Accelerate progress. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Chioma Ugboma

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