Home Events More Women Needed In Rwanda’s Growing Mining Sector- Officials

More Women Needed In Rwanda’s Growing Mining Sector- Officials

by Daniel Sabiiti
1:52 pm

 

Some of the women working at Trinity Metals mining companies celebrate their International Day

Rwanda has celebrated the International Day of Women in Mining (IDWIM) with a commitment to increase the number of women and prevent gender based violence in the sector which is one of the highest forex earners but still male-dominated.

The commitment was made during celebrations held this June 14, 2024 at Trinity Nyakabingo Mine, located in Shyorongi Sector, Rulindo District, under the theme “I am Mining and I Belong”.

Earnings from mining and quarrying operations go beyond workers and investors and reach their families and the national economy, given that the sector comes second, just after tourism, in generating foreign currencies into the country.

Rwanda’s mineral export revenues increased from $772 million to more than $1.1 billion, closing in on the target of generating $1.5 billion in annual mineral export revenues by 2024.

However, the sector, which also includes quarrying operations, employs 57,379 workers, of whom only 11.4% are women, while the vast majority (88.6%) are men, according to National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) figures.

Women owning mining, quarrying companies and cooperatives records from Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB) show that there are only 22 women owners, representing 16%, against 116 men, representing 84%.

Diane Nguruyimanzi, the National Women’s Council (CNF) Coordinator, Rulindo district

Diane Nguruyimanzi, the National Women’s Council (CNF) Coordinator for Rulindo district, who officiated the event said as a country that promotes gender equality, there is need to increase numbers of women, since it is something that is backed by the constitution and legal structures.

“We need to see more women working in the mining sector because the constitution is very clear about having a 30 percent women representation in all sectors,” Nguruyimanzi said.

At the Women’s Council, Nguruyimanzi said that while policies and regulations on gender equality should be implemented, there is a need to increase awareness on opportunities in the mining sector, and skills development among women so as to compete equally.

“As the women’s council we have committed to put more efforts in encouraging young girls to take mining courses in order to achieve this ambition where we want women to be recruited based on abilities and skills,” she added.

Rwanda Women in Mining Association (RWIMA) President, Aline Providence Nkundibiza said that in order to increase the number of women in mining, there is need to change social mindset which believe that mining is a male career but also to create women’s spaces and suitable environment (Early Childhood Development Centers, Mother’s rooms) that can attract more women to join the sector.

At Trinity Metals, one of the largest mining companies in Rwanda, officials said that they have placed women at the center of their development activities to increase numbers from 18% to 30% by 2030, based on the fact that women are more productive, focused and goal oriented.

Women miners at Musha Mine

For example, Mary Ashiimwe, the Human Resource Manager at Trinity Metals said that women (1,136 out of the 77,000 employees) have formed an association- Trinity Women in Mining (TWIMA) which has savings cooperatives, established ECDs, a canteen projects worth over Rwf50Million, which encourage women to join the sector, but also benefit more.

The celebrations were preceded with an awareness campaign week across three mines (of Rutongo, Nyakabingo, and Musha Mines) on Family planning and Gender-Based Violence in partnership with the Health Development Initiative (HDI).

CNF and RWIMA officials said that there have not been any reported cases of gender based violence, however Nkundibiza revealed that there need to conduct new research to highlight the status of women in mining, their challenges which are mostly based on inequalities in opportunities in leadership, salaries and skills.

Peter Geleta, the CEO of Trinity Metals (right) thanked Rwanda government for empowering women in leadership roles.

Using his wide experience in Africa’s mining sector, Peter Geleta, the CEO of Trinity Metals, thanked the leadership of the Government of Rwanda in empowering women saying that Rwanda is the best place where he has seen women empowerment- which sets the example for countries to provide the right environment for women in mining leadership and development.

Geleta said that in order to protect women, they have committed to a zero tolerance policy to GBV and abuse of women and immediate action will be taken on any reported cases but also encouraged women to report any incidents.

Young and experienced women in mining dance in celebration

Juliette Kabatesi shows off her award for Uprising Women Miner in Africa

Benita Twebaze, head of TWIMA presents achievements made by women miners’ associations at Trinity Metals

Some of the successful women in Rwanda’s Mining Sector

 

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