Machinery hindering women miners

Originally published in The Daily Mail – September 2016.

MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
LACK of machinery has continued to be a hindrance to production and business competition for Zambian women in mining, says Gramiraj Investments Limited proprietor Mary Lubemba.
Ms Lubemba said in an interview that lack of machines is prompting women miners to trade in raw materials and this is making them lose on profit.
“We do not have a problem in marketing. Our major problem is production because we do not have machines. Our stones are sold in Asian countries and we know that they go as far as the UK and the United States of America, but we are losing on all this because of little or no production,” she said.
Ms Lubemba, who won the woman-of-the-year award in 2013, said women should work hard to penetrate the perceived male-dominated fields.
“I can make a better supervisor than men, it is not an easy field because it requires time and commitment as well as machinery,” she said.
Ms Lubemba’s vision is to help grow the nation’s economy through the mining sector and ensure the growth and expansion of the jewellery market.
Gramiraj Investments Limited has been mining gemstones since 1989 and the company’s main line of business is to turn rough amethyst into fine polished master pieces and to make jewellery that is sold locally and internationally.

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