Monday, 11th December 2017, Nairobi, Kenya – President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to support women in the mining and extractives sub sector as part of his administration’s goal to create jobs and opportunities for the young population while also achieving gender equality in the economy.
The President who met with a women delegation of the Association of Women in Extractives in Kenya (AWEIK) agreed on the need to create a special fund to support women in mining, owing to the limitation of the available funds (UWEZO fund, Youth and Women Fund) to adequately serve entrepreneurs in the mining sector. In showcasing their effort and contribution to the gemstone sub sector, the Association of Women in Extractives presented the President with a bracelet representing the Kenyan flag in precious stones dubbed the “Kenya One bracelet”, made from the country’s finest gemstones including 5.91cts Tsavorite (Green Garnet), 6.69cts Ruby, 3.33cts Black Diamond, 3.33cts White Diamond and 18cts Yellow Gold, all mined in Kenya.
“I’m happy and encouraged to see young Kenyans like yourselves taking up the available opportunities in the mining sector to grow the economy”, said President Kenyatta.
During the meeting the President Kenyatta ordered the extension of the deployment of NYS equipment to support Small Scale Mining entrepreneurs for a period of one year and called for fast tracked equipping of the gemstone cutting and value addition centre in Voi to support value addition of minerals.
“Kenya’s first gemstone cutting and value addition centre in Voi, Taita Taveta County is ready and currently being equipped to meet international standards, with the goal of adding value to mining by raising the profile of the extractives sector”, added Mining CS Dan Kazungu who accompanied the women in extractives to State House where the meeting was held with President Uhuru Kenyatta .
At the same meeting, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Ministry fo Lands to resolve pending land adjudications and renewal of leases to ensure miners get consent on licenses to avoid disruption of mining activities.
The Ministry of Mining in conjunction with AWEIK in July this year organized the 1st ever Kenya International Gem and Jewellery Trade Fair with the aim of positioning the country as a gemstone-trading hub in the region. Kenya is home to some of the most marketable precious stones worldwide such as rubies, green garnet (Tsavorite) and precious metals like gold. Currently, Artisanal and small-scale miners mine over 80 percent of Kenya’s gemstones and women play a key role in the mining sub sector’s revenue contribution.
Going forward the Ministry of Mining under the directive of the President is looking to work closely with National Museums of Kenya and Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) to explore avenues of establishing a gem and exhibition centre to drive mining tourism in Kenya. This as part of the fulfillment of a pledge to focus on Mining and extractives as a key sub sector for job creation and economic growth over the next five years.
President Uhuru Kenyatta with CS Dan Kazungu, PS Dr Ibrahim Mohamed and members of AWEIK after a meeting at statehouse
The "Kenya One" bracelet made from Kenya's finest precious stones presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta by the Association of Women in Extractives in Kenya (AWEIK)
President Uhuru Kenyatta with CS Dan Kazungu, PS Dr Ibrahim Mohamed and Taita Taveta Deputy Governor Majala after a meeting with women in extractives at State house Nairobi