Mining is often considered male dominated but gears are shifting to inspire more women into the sector.Organisers of the annual Women in Mining Conference said plans have been set in motion to form a new industry body – Women in Mining Botswana to lobby for robust policies and significant contribution of women in the sector.
“The main reason is that we want to promote greater participation of women, in the industry that is male dominated,” said Malebogo Marumoagae, the brains behind the conference and the association.The former Miss Botswana said more women have done exceptionally well in the industry which she considers a multi-faceted, highlighting that mining is not all about engineers and geologists.
“Lots of women are entering the industry without the sector background, let’s celebrate them and share with other women that aspire to get there,” said Marumoagae who is optimistic that women are moving and shaking barriers in the mining industry. “It not about availing opportunity (creating a bias for women) but to go out there and look for them,” said Marumoagae.
Botswana Chamber of Mines and the Women in Business have already thrown weight behind the initiative expected to set off at the Women in Mining Conference slated for end of September. In addition, Khan Corporate Law has volunteered to assist in putting together the constitution, as like minded people are expected to endorse the idea at the conference.
Marumoagae said Women in Mining Conference team has been benchmarking from South Africa, the International Women in Mining and the recently launched Women in Mining Namibia. This year’s conference is expected to attract 200 participants from the Southern African region being Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia.
“These women will be from mining and exploration businesses, women entrepreneurs, researchers and analysts, safety and health specialists, women professional engineers, legislatives and policy chiefs,” said Marumoagae. Meanwhile mines, companies and organisations that have already confirmed participation include Debswana, De Beers, Morupule Mine, Boteti Mine, Shumba Coal, Tuscan Mine, Yeabo Mining, Ghubani Mining, Kutanuta Diamonds, Women in Mining South Africa and Women in Mining Namibia.
Marumoagae said building on last year’s inaugural conference momentum, the upcoming event will give specific focus to empowering women in the mining sector, identify new capacity building avenues that will help them grow in the workplace and flourish as mining entrepreneurs. She added that the conference focus was inspired by the fact that women, in the Southern African region, the mining sector has not risen to the challenge. “The majority of women in these countries are largely excluded or marginalized from participating or benefiting from the vast mineral world in the region.
They have limited access to mineral wealth in terms of equity ownership and participation and they are marginalized in terms of governance and management of the industry,” said Marumoagae. On available employment data, indications are that women are under represented both in the board of directors of mining companies and in senior positions while in entrepreneurship, women constitute a very small proportion of this sector.
“The few that are participating, are only doing small scale mining, for example gold panning, dealing in gemstones, running and selling industrial minerals such as limestone, dolomite, clay and many others.” Marumoagae bemoans that women’s contribution to mining remains insignificant in mainstream mining.
More liquidity is expected on the local bourse next year when the exchange introduces market makers for equity and fixed income securities.
The development comes after the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) approved rules regulating market makers on the exchange and implementation timeline is January 2019.Product Development Manager for Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) Thapelo Moribame said market makers should excite the bourse, unlock liquidity, improve price discovery and increase the depth of the market.
“Currently, global liquidity levels are low, and thus poor price discovery for listed securities and the BSEL is no exception,” said Moribame.She bemoaned that low levels of liquidity have a negative impact on returns accrued from the market.However with market markers there will be easy entry and exit of investors, which will lead to enhanced portfolio diversification and management.
In addition, the listed companies will benefit from more activity in securities, better attractiveness and also BSEL, central securities depository (CSD) and brokers will benefit from increased liquidity, an amplified number of executed trades and lower impact costs.According to Moribame, securities holders for which market makers have been appointed can be confident that they can either buy securities or sell their holdings when they wish to do so.
She said through enhancing the liquidity of listed securities, market makers contribute to the maintenance of an efficient and orderly market and add to the attractiveness of the stock to current and prospective investors.Currently, the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) has appointed market makers for Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that are listed on the exchange and this has helped to improve price discovery and liquidity of the ETFs.
The market making on equity and fixed income securities is expected to commence on the 1st January, 2019 when the rules are now effective. Ahead of the implementation, BSEL has scheduled capacity building workshop to educate interested parties on market making activities beginning of September.
The workshop is expected to be a highly interactive forum and it has been created to give industry participants an opportunity to enhance and broaden their knowledge on market making operations and net-work with market making experts from South Africa.The BSEL market making seminar will target executives in financial institutions which deal with listed and unlisted securities.
These include the brokers, commercial banks who are potential market makers, institutional investors, particularly pension fund managers, the BPOPF, issuers of securities, regulators of capital markets, transfer secretaries, corporate finance and legal advisors.
Moribame said market makers are now a cornerstone in the marketplace as they support the liquidity of securities by providing continuous bid and ask quotations, increased number of executed trades. “In particular, market making is becoming increasingly important for markets that are concerned with a decline in trading volumes and liquidity levels.”
Meanwhile, BSEL is working on a raft of developments to improve the bourse including among others drafting depository receipts listing requirements to facilitate issuance and listing of sponsored and unsponsored depository receipts on the local market.