Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Reporter
CBZ Holdings says there is a need to increase the participation of women in the mining sector as part of measures to bridge gender inequality and achieve sustainable economic development.
Speaking during a financial inclusion workshop recently organised by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) Gender and Extractives, CBZ group head of marketing and corporate affairs Dr Eldrette Shereni said small scale mining generates up to five times the income of rural people.
She said that the sector employs 10 times more people than the large scale mining sector hence the need to stimulate production by engaging more women in mining.
“Women’s participation in the mining sector is more committed, it is more reliable and it is more responsible. If you look at our lending ratio, statistics have told us that women owned companies that get loans from us have a tendency to repay because they are more reliable,” said Dr Shereni.
She said by providing women miners with resources and the capacity in skills to impact policy change through knowledge, this would be promoting Sustainable Development Goals.
“CBZ seeks to play a pivotal role in enabling women miners to carry out their individual activities more effectively through learning from their peers,” said Dr Shereni.
Speaking on the event she said CBZ offers compliance and regulatory assistance through their exchange control division, which facilitates importation and exportation documents, registration with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and all other regulatory items that a lot of women would need particularly in the mining sector.
“For us there is no customer too small or too big. Women can come together in groups and co-guarantee each other even when the collateral is limited to get access to loans and funding,” said Dr Shereni.
She added CBZ has a custodian service unit that looks at protecting and safeguarding valuables.
“If you do have any minerals in excess or anything else for that matter that is valuable to you and actually need to keep it in a safe place that is not at home you can consider CBZ safe custody,” said Dr Shereni.
She said the bank assists women in completing the registration forms that are needed when exporting some minerals.
Meanwhile, Dr Shereni said they have embraced new technology developments to assist and tailor the lifestyle of women customers.
“We have launched a mobile application that has got more than 220 000 active subscribers and users. It will allow you to open wallet accounts for your workers as you know cash is a problem,” she said.