Mercy Manyuchi is the Acting Chief Director for Mining Development in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Zimbabwe. She is a registered Professional Engineer who holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Her personal vision is focused on her role in contributing to the vision of her country to have a USD 20 billion mining sector by 2030.
By Kathy Sole
I have always wanted a career that makes a huge social impact to my country [Zimbabwe] and, for me, the mining sector, due to the versatility of its value chain, has potential to change the lives of people through employment creation and infrastructure development.
Currently, I am the Acting Chief Director in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in Zimbabwe. I am responsible for the Mining Development Directorate, with a major focus on Energy Minerals, Non-Energy Minerals, Mining Research, Value Addition, and Beneficiation.
The sector is male-dominated: most of the times, you are only the female in the room. However, I have always made it a point that my male counterparts see my contribution, rather than the woman I am.
I am passionate about the change I have brought in my country and will bring through mining. Mining is the major foreign currency earner in terms of exports and I know my efforts contribute to this.
Yes, I have had people who made me grow in the sector and believed in my potential to bring about change and positive impact. I have also had people who provided a shoulder for me to lean on. It’s very hard to succeed without support and a good team.
As a female, in this male-dominated sector, it’s very critical to adapt. Be part of the men, think like them, socialize with them. I have grown better because of this.
As the mining sector in Zimbabwe, we have a vision to have a USD 20 billion mining industry by 2030. For my next steps, I want to contribute towards this vision, such that when it happens I will say I was there and I played my part.
Always be the best that you can be.
Trusting colleagues who then failed me at the end. I then really learnt to build my team wisely.
Yes. I have served and am currently serving on various boards of mining, energy and infrastructure development companies, such as the Minerals Marketing Cooperation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), the National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (NOIC), and the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA).
Women are gifted with emotional intelligence, a skill that is required in decision making, so, yes, we need women in the boardroom. However, I also think there are women out there who are capable and must be on boards for their skills and knowledge — not because they are women.
Yes, definitely. We also get to share our stories, inspire, and build each other up.
Set targets, achieve them. Build up your leadership skills.
Do everything on its scheduled time. I am an early bird. By the time I get to the office, my emails are done. My subordinates know what they are supposed to do. I am Catholic and I ensure that Sunday mornings are dedicated to my mass for spiritual growth and guidance. In the mornings and after work, I ensure I bond with my babies, get to know how their day has been, assist with homework, and also plan for their birthdays.
Currently, I am reading John Maxwell’s Laws of Leadership. I have recently been reading a lot around leadership. I would recommend this book to fellow women: as you climb up the corporate ladder, your leadership skills will impact your rate of growth.
Generally, I love reading and I am an academic writer, so when I have time I write articles. By reading and writing you also learn a lot.
Mercy Manyuchi (PhD, PrEng) is the Acting Chief Director for Mining Development in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Zimbabwe. She holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (South Africa) and MScEng from Stellenbosch University (South Africa). Before her appointment as the Acting Chief Director–Mining Development, Mercy was the Director responsible for Mining Research, Value Addition and Beneficiation in the Ministry of Mines. She previously served as Head of Department of Chemical and Process Systems Engineering at Harare Institute of Technology (Zimbabwe) for five years, and has held academic positions in the School of Mining, Metallurgy and Chemical Engineering at the University of Johannesburg, at Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences in Zimbabwe, and at the Biomass Research Institute in Germany. Mercy has worked for more than ten years across various mining sector value chains, including cement extraction and processing, coal conversion to value-added products, Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Management Plans, research, and capacity building. Mercy is the Vice Chairperson for Women in Engineering in Zimbabwe. She is a registered Professional Chemical Engineer and holds memberships of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, the World Energy Council, Professional Women Executives and Business Women’s Forum, and the Zimbabwe Institute of Management. Mercy is an alumnus of the prestigious German Green Talents Fellowship, the JF Kapnek Trust Fellowship, a recipient of the Old Mutual Mathematics Olympiad Zimbabwe, and participated in the Young African Leaders Initiatives Leadership Program.