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GOVERNMENT should eliminate bottlenecks in the acquisition of mining licences and also ensure that mining companies give a significant percentage of their procurement to women, Young Women in Mining (YWIM) have said.

Stonerich Managing Director Angela Nakaonga said women had been marginalised in various sectors of the economy and it was time they were given chance to prove themselves in the mining sector.

She suggested that mining companies should give five to 10 percentof their procurement business to women to lay a firm foundation for them to contribute to poverty alleviation in communities.

Ms Nakaonga was speaking yesterday at Garden Court Hotel in Kitwe during a YWIM workshop which was officiated by Information and broadcasting Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga

Ms Nakaonga said women should not feel intimidated  but must strive to prove themselves that if given chance they can contribute effectively to poverty alleviation and food security in the country.

“Female owned mining  supplying and contracting companies face alot of challenges in registration and other things. This leads to demoralization. Women should be given a fair share in the mining industry without compromise. This is the reason we formed YWIM.

“Women should be given equal opportunities to supply and contract in the mining companies. The other issue is that government should also elliminiate bottlenecks in the acquisition of mining licences. Our plea is that   five to 10 percent of the procurement from the mining companies should be given to women” Ms Nakaonga said.

In response, Mr Malupenga said Government will support the YWIM especially that it had embarked on various empowerment projects to support women.

Mr Malupenga said Women had proved to be genuine partners in development because of their passion to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security in communities.

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