AWEIK has launched the Women in Extractives series aimed at sharing the career stories of various women within the Mining, Oil and Gas value chains. This series is aimed at highlighting and promoting the participation of women in the extractives sector as well as encouraging other women who wish to participate at different levels of the value chain.
The series highlights these women’s career journeys, the challenges they have faced, the opportunities that exist within the sector and the role of AWEIK in supporting women realize these opportunities in the extractives and energy spaces.
This quarter, we are sharing the journey of Sophia Kutiti- Geologist, who against all odds, has curved out her niche in the Mining sector in Kenya and is using her position to mentor young women.
Supporting Women Artisanal Small Scale Miners (WASMs)
Building Capacities of Women in Gold Mining in Kakamega
(Gold processing activity in Kakamega)
With support from World Bank’s Extractives Global Programmatic Support (EGPS), AWEIK has been implementing a project titled “Supporting women artisanal miners address challenges caused by Covid 19 “. The project aims to assess the barriers to their participation in the mining sector and focus on improving the social and economic benefits for the women in Artisanal mining and communities in Kakamega and Taita Taveta Counties.
This is through:
·Training on Activism to end violence against women in Kakamega County
AWEIK conducted three-day training for women and men artisanal gold miners from Kakamega County on Activism to end violence against women (VAWG). The goal of the training was to impart knowledge to women in these communities directly affected or in leadership positions at the mine sites on how to use their power to effect change by developing guidelines to protect women miners at mine sites and in their communities.
·Training on Entrepreneurship and financial literacy in Kakamega County
AWEIK conducted training on Entrepreneurship and financial literacy among ASM women in Kakamega County to equip them with knowledge on tapping into alternative means of income thus improving the livelihoods of artisanal miners. The key objectives of the training was to provide access to adequate capacity building to women miners as a means of tapping into alternative income streams and to train and mentor on business development services such as access to finance and market to youth, women and persons with disabilities
Moyo Gems International Study Tour to Tanga province, Tanzania.
Moyo Gems Market Day: Kalalani Village, Tanga province, Tanzania
Moyo Gems is an ethical gemstone collaboration born in East Africa. We are working with female artisanal gem miners in Tanzania and Kenya to assure rubies, sapphires, tourmaline, garnets, citrines, and amethysts, from mine to market. Moyo gems works to empower women miners to work safely, mine better, improve financial security, and create stable, equitable markets for fair trade.
In Kenya, the Moyo Gems program commenced with an international study tour that brought selected Kenyan miners and officials to Tanzania to observe the Tanzanian program in action and to identify ways to craft the program to the Kenyan context.
The tour involved a courtesy call to the Tanga Ministry of mining regional mining office and a visit to the Moyo Gems Market day. The purpose for the tour was to learn how Moyo Gems Market days are operated in Tanzania by Pact Tanzania and Tanzania Women in Mining Association (Tawoma) and the challenges that they face. Additionally, the knowledge and experience will aid Moyo Gems Kenya on the implementation of similar Moyo Gems Market days in Taita Taveta. The concept of gemstone market days shall boost Mines to Market approach. This will meet one of AWEIK’s objectives of providing market linkages and opportunities for the ASM to potential buyers and sellers.
Institutional Strengthening of the Association and Empowerment
AMP Training, Team- Building and Mentor – Mentee Pairing
(AWEIK Mentees and mentors during the AWEIK Mentorship Programme retreat in Voi)
The AWEIK Mentorship Program (AMP) is designed for students and young professional women in the extractives sector. The overall goal of this program is to provide the participants with a much sought-after opportunity to connect with successful professionals and industry leaders as mentors, who are in a position to empower them with requisite tools and promote them from a professional and personal development perspective.
Look out for key training programs coming up in the next quarter
1. The journey of Women in Mining Webinar
2. Pioneer Women in Extractives Awards 2021
3. Financial Literacy Program
Publications and Reports
An Assessment of the Participation of Women Artisanal and Small-scale Miners in the Gold Mining Value Chain
This research paper forms part of the activities under the project that the World Bank through its EGPS program funded Association of Women in Energy and Extractives in Kenya (AWEIK). The purpose of the research was to assess the risks and barriers that women experience related to responsible sourcing in the gold upstream tier and identify demand driven, sustainable economic opportunities for women artisanal gold miners in Migori and Kakamega that will benefit them now and in the future.
Why women are leaving the mining industry and what mining companies can do about it
Women are underrepresented at all levels within mining companies. Yet opportunities remain for the industry to boost female recruitment, retention, and advancement.
There is a sense that opportunities for operational experience and frontline mentorship are created proactively for men, while women are expected to have acquired frontline experience “elsewhere” in order to qualify for advanced technical and leadership roles. Women who return to school to further their expertise feel that their academic skills are underutilized and undervalued, negating their investment in advanced education.
ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT by Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA)
The purpose of the project was to address challenges around market access by enhancing market opportunities for women (grassroots, SMEs and professionals) in Extractives towards economically raising their status, to enhance linkages and partnerships with industry for women entrepreneurs and professionals, to strengthen the association in improved governance, to equip the association with adequate resources to meet its mandate in supporting grassroots women and to achieve financial sustainability through various initiatives.
Through this support, the Association has been able to fulfil the project objectives through:
1. To enhance market opportunities for women through:
· Supporting artisanal and small scale women miners to attend the Gems Africa 2021 Virtual Conference
· Undertake trainings for women in ASM on technical skills, financial literacy, Health and safety
· Hold value addition trainings for Women Artisanal & Small Scale Miners in 4 Counties: Kakamega, Taita Taveta, Migori and Turkana.
2. To enhance linkages and partnerships with industry for women entrepreneurs and professionals through:
· Mentorship program for youth within the extractive industry
AWEIK launched a Mentorship Programme which has 12 mentees as its first cohort. Through the programme, we have been able to pair mentees with mentors for the purposes of providing networking and interaction platform for business and personal growth.
3. Strengthening of the Association and Resourcing through:
· Training the governing committee and committee chairs on corporate governance
Become a member of the Association of Women in Energy and Extractives in Kenya (AWEIK). AWEIK provides women with opportunities for equitable professional and economic development within Kenya’s extractives industry.
We awaken women’s potential in oil, gas and mining industries through lobbying, branding, member capacity development and business development services.
Membership is open to individuals, companies, firms or other organisations engaged in extractives activities (large scale, small and medium scale and/or artisanal), business activities, professional services, academia or education in the extractives industries and/or extractives value chains (goods and services) and who are either women, or who are actively involved in the sponsorship and/or promotion of women in the extractives sector.
Madini Sacco offers a savings platform for the Artisanal Small Scale Miners countrywide. The main aim of Madini Sacco is to provide an opportunity for each of its members to improve their respective economic and social conditions through promotion of financial access through loans to small and medium-scale miners and dealers who cannot access credit facilities from commercial banks. To become a member, write to us, [email protected]