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Kenya decries low participation of women in mining sector

24 March 2016, 18:32

Nairobi (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Wednesday decried the low participation of women in the mining sector.

Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Mining Dan Kazungu told a mining forum in Nairobi that Kenya cannot achieve its economic and development aspirations in the mining sector if half of the population is disadvantaged, excluded and under-employed.

"We are therefore developing an inclusive policy, legislative and regulatory framework that will put in place measures to ensure women fully participate in the mining sector," Kazungu said during the stakeholder Corporate Responsibility Forum on Women in Extractive Industries.

The ministry of mining has appointed a gender officer to ensure that Kenya is compliant and accountable on gender targets in all mining activities.

The new mining act will be concluded within the next one month. The ministry is also concluding draft regulations to operationalize the legal framework of the sector.

The CS said that the government recognizes the enormous potential of the mining sector to boost economies of Kenyan communities.

It is estimated that the mining sector can contribute 10 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) within the next 15 years.

Currently the sector contributes less than one percent of the GDP and three percent of total export earnings.

Kazungu said that the potential of the mining sector cannot be fully released without the participation of all Kenyans.

He noted that the proportion of women in African countries in the Artisanal and Small Scale mining varies between 40 to 100 percent.

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- Xinhua


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