President of Ghana confirmed as a keynote speaker for Mining Indaba's 25th anniversary celebrations in 2019.

His Excellency Nana Akufo-Adoo, the President of Ghana, will speak at the 2019 Investing in African Mining Indaba, which will be taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 4 – 7 February 2019 for its biggest event yet – its 25th anniversary celebration!

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 9 2018. It will be published online on the 1st October 2018.

As one of the major mining centres on the African continent, this presents delegates with an excellent opportunity to hear about the future of mining in Ghana and the firm intention of H.E. President Akufo-Addo to ensure that the government is fully committed to promoting the expansion of local and international value chains that would benefit small producers and entrepreneurs from Ghana and the rest of the African continent.

Since its inception in 1994, Mining Indaba has grown from a small conference to one of the most highly anticipated events in the industry, welcoming mining professionals from all over the world each year.

From connecting African mining companies with leading investors to providing a platform for important industry discussions, Mining Indaba has supported the long-term growth of mining across the continent.

In 2018 a fresh revamp of branding and direction brought the focus back to Mining Indaba’s role as a deal-making forum, with a 15% increase in overall attendance and 47% more mining executives.

New elements of the event such as the Junior Mining Showcase and re-developed Sustainable Development day created platforms designed to explore unique aspects of the mining industry, which was well-received by attending delegates.

Renewed positivity around commodity prices and the mining industry also added to an atmosphere of excitement at the event, which went on to win ‘Best large scale event’ at the 2018 Conference Awards this summer.

The 25th anniversary in 2019 will build on the hype of last year’s success and is expected to feature a host of exciting initiatives to celebrate 25 years of progress in African mining including a themed afterparty, historical timeline wall of past Indabas and a publicly nominated ‘Top 25 at 25’ competition to showcase the 25 most influential people in mining over the last 25 years.

Director of Content Harry Chapman comments on these plans saying:

“We are quickly becoming more than just a conference - we are here to support your businesses. As a team we also have a long-term, laser sharp focus in driving investment into African mining and actively contributing to Africa's sustainable economic growth, to help your business thrive.”

Women to shine at Mining Indaba says Nichole McCulloch, MD of Clifton Hill Associates and Women in Mining (UK)

How much of the global mining labour force is made up of women, and has this figure increased in the past 10 years?

We have certainly seen an increase in the numbers of women working in the mining industry and the types of roles they are working in, however there are currently no actual definitive figures on the numbers of women globally in the industry.

This is something that needs to be remedied and I’m pleased to say that Women in Mining is looking to address this in the near future. Without a benchmark of where we are, it is hard to know where we are going and what we should be aiming for.

Importantly we are seeing change right at the top, at the leadership level of the industry, for example in 2012 54% of companies in the top 500 mining companies by market cap had all male board - by 2015 this had been reduced to 39%.

More recently we have seen the recent appointments of Elizabeth Gains as CEO and Julie Shuttleworth as Deputy CEO of Fortescue, Marie Inkster as CEO of Lundin Mining and Noreen Doyle as Chair of Newmont’s Board, to name a few.

This demonstrates the industry is changing, that women’s participation is being recognized and that companies are increasingly aware of the benefits diversity brings to both their business and their corporate culture and I would like to think advocacy groups like Women in Mining have made a contribution towards this.

 How can supporting women in the mining industry benefit the sector as a whole?

There is no doubt that having a more diverse workforce, not only around gender, creates a more inclusive culture which enables diversity of thought which, in turn, is shown to result in better decision making, stronger governance and improved economic performance.

For example, a recent report from the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that 30% of female representation on boards could add up to 6 percentage points to net margin.

In addition, having more women in the sector creates more role models and mentoring, this makes the industry more attractive to more progressive graduates, ensuring that the industry continues to attract top talent. Without women, the industry would be missing out on essentially half of the global talent out there.

What initiatives are you planning in 2018/2019 to support women in the mining industry?

We have several exciting projects in the pipeline. For 2018, our flagship project is the “Top 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining” 2018 Edition, which will be launched in November. This really highlights the level of talent across our industry at all levels and in all functions.

In addition to this, we are hoping to expand our scholarship programme at universities, formalise our mentoring programme and start a new global research project, details of which will be released later this year.

This is all underpinned by the hard work our volunteers do every day putting on educational events, engaging with students and collaborating with our partners to help continuously move the dial.

What do you think are the biggest sector challenges women are facing?

I think it’s about ensuring there is a comprehensive career development path for women that will ultimately see at least 30% of women on senior executive management teams, not just at a board level, not just the majors, but across all companies in the industry, seeing women at every level of management from junior explorers upwards.

This will then lead to the necessary changes at the mine site level, driven by female participation in the leadership, as well as tackling the practical issues such as safety, appropriate workwear, travel, daycare, maternity and paternity rights, etc…

What do you hope the partnership with the 2019 Mining Indaba will achieve, and what are you most looking forward to about the event?

Our partnership with the 2019 Mining Indaba is the perfect event to showcase on an international scale the amazing and talented women we have in our industry. All too often at conferences the majority of panels and speakers are all male and this does not accurately represent our industry.

We are excited to be working with the team at Mining Indaba to ensure both the speakers as well as the content represents a wider stakeholder group.

 Women in Mining (UK) are partners of the 2019 Investing in African Mining Indaba as part of an initiative to get more top female speakers involved in the agenda. Register to attend at www.miningindaba.com and get a 10% discount with the code REVIEW10

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