Ms Atieno is a featured speaker at the upcoming Kenya Mining Forum during the session on “Artisinal, small scale mining and gender issues: penetrating the guarded gemstones market”.

1) Let’s start with some background on your company’s interests in the mining industry in Kenya and the region.
Porini Gems Ltd came into the gem mining scene in 2012. It took us a while to find our footing and gain ground. Information and the market were hard to come by. It took a lot of hard work and tenacity to get through the door, more so locally than abroad where the market is open. Our aim has been to market and elevate Kenya and Africa’s gemstones in the Western and Asian market.

4) How promising is the mining industry in Kenya?
It is very promising on all levels, but there is a lot to be done especially when it comes to mining infrastructure. Artisanal mining barely taps the potential underneath.

6) How important is the updated Mining Act in your opinion?
The updated Mining Act is very important and can bring about the desired changes if enforced. There also has to be a lot of sensitization on the ground for better understanding of the act by traders and miners.

7) What is your vision for the industry?
I would like to see a more open, legitimized market with fair trade, ethical mining practices, involvement of more women in the industry, recognition and services from banks and insurance companies aimed at the industry as well as local value addition for retention of more revenue locally.

8) What will be you message at Kenya Mining Forum?
The main message will be recognition of the gem industry, the untapped opportunities and its greater effect on the economy.

9) What are you most looking forward to at the event?
Meeting other stakeholders, hearing their thoughts and ideas on how we can best work together to better the industry.

10) Anything you would like to add?
Women should get more involved in the industry