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Africa News of Thursday, 6 April 2023


Zambia mining sector gets first female chief executive

Mfikeyi Makayi Mfikeyi Makayi

Zambia's mining sector, a significant contributor to the country's economy, has made history after appointing its first female CEO to head one of the biggest mining operations there.

Mfikeyi Makayi will head up the copper unit in Zambia for KoBold Metals, according to a statement from Zambia’s presidential office.

KoBold Metals is a US-based company which uses artificial intelligence to identify battery metal deposits.

Zambia is Africa's second biggest producer of copper, which is in high demand with the global transition to a low-carbon economy and future transport needs.

"It's quite a huge task and nerve-wrecking task but it's also an honour to serve this country," Ms Makayi told BBC's Newsday programme about her appointment.

Her rise to the top of the organisation has been a 15-year journey that started out on the mines of the north-western province.

She said her appointment was a significant step in a sector that is traditionally male-dominated.

"It means a lot to people in the sector. It's a sector that its pivotal to our economy - 70% of our exports is copper.

"It means a lot to myself personally, my family and the industry. It means that the industry has been opened to women," she said.

Part of her efforts in the new role will be to bring more women on board, she added.

"It's an ongoing strategy. There's always been a drive for more diversity, inclusion. We have it as a metric."