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First Lady commends women in mining

ESTHER

ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
FIRST Lady Esther Lungu says the initiative by the Association of Zambian Women in Mining (AZWIM) to engage in gemstone value addition will help reduce poverty and enhance job creation in the country.
Mrs Lungu, who also donated a K5,000 to the association, said the mining sector has potential to empower women but gender inequalities and lack of resources hinder their growth.
She said a thriving mining industry helps to develop the economy and the livelihood of local people.
Mrs Lungu said this in a speech read for her by Sports and Youth deputy minister’s wife Lillian Chitotela during the official launch of the value-addition programme yesterday.
“To work in the mining industry requires you to develop tools and programmes that facilitate increased attraction, retention and advancement of women in the industry.
“Allow me to congratulate AZWIM for coming up with this value-addition programme which will help change our citizens from being passive spectators in our mineral wealth to active participants with the ability to transform our resources into items of value,” she said.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe said in restructuring the empowerment programme, Government will ensure that it puts in place the value chain cluster development plan.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said that will help add value to natural resources, thereby creating wealth for enterprising Zambians.
AZWIM chairperson Mary Lubemba said with over 200 members across the country, the association will continue facilitating market surveys globally.

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