AWEIK FireSideChat #2: The Changing Landscape of Africa’s Mining Sector Post COVID-19: What will characterize the new normal?

Published: June 26 , 2020 5:20 am
AWEIK FireSideChat #2: The Changing Landscape of Africa’s Mining Sector Post COVID-19: What will characterize the new normal?
_____ Start Date: June 30, 2020 End Date: June 30, 2020 Venue / Location: Zoom Webinar

The ramifications of the global COVID 19 crisis are likely to be with us for a long time with many predicting an erosion of many of the gains that Africa has achieved in economic growth in the last decade. While the full extent and scale of the impact on Africa’s mining sector is yet to be determined, factors such as a prolonged global slowdown, travel restrictions and lockdowns in various resource-rich countries is expected to see decreased production, decline in demand as well as well disruptions in global value chains of minerals.


The continent’s need for new approaches to drive economic growth demands a reengagement of Africa’s mining industry in regional trade, technology advances, innovation and partnerships, among others.


The AWEIK Fireside Chat #2 intends to discuss a wide array of perspectives and diverse approaches that will catalyze change and generate new opportunities for sustainable mining on the African continent. Our panelists will focus on changes in the following focus areas:


  • Exploration vis a vis mining dynamics
  • Promoting linkages with other pillars of the economy
  • Incorporating innovation and technology
  • Establishing government relations and community engagement
  • Driving local content
  • Empowering women, youth and other gender dynamics
  • Advancing partnerships/collaborations



Zenzi Awases is a geologist with 15 years’ experience in exploring and mining diamonds on the world’s largest paleo – placer diamond deposit along the south-western coast of Namibia. In 2017, she formed part of the founding members of the Women in Mining Association of Namibia (WiMAN) and serves on the executive committee as the President. In 2018, she was elected as the Vice-President of the Southern African Chapter for the Association of Women in Mining in Africa. Since 2019, she has been serving on the executive committee of Association of Women in Mining in Africa as the President of the Southern African Chapter. Zenzi is a mother of 2 young children and lives in Windhoek, Namibia.


Melba K. Wasunna (PhD)

Manager – External Affairs, Base Titanium

Melba is the External Affairs Manager at Base Titanium Limited, Kenya’s largest mining company.

Previously, Melba was the Founding Director of the Strathmore Extractives Industry Centre (SEIC) based at Strathmore University. Under her leadership, SEIC developed an innovative stakeholder engagement platform “Extractives Baraza” which coordinated over 100 forums and workshops providing unprecedented engagement bringing together diverse stakeholders such as the Government of Kenya, NGOs, Academia and multinational companies to discuss a variety of topics on mutual benefits, shared value, transparency, gender impacts, among others. She has also authored several publications including reports, journal articles and books.

Melba is the recipient of the “Upstream Oil and Gas Awards, Woman of the Year Kenya (2019)”. She currently serves as the Chairperson for the Association of Women in Energy and Extractives in Kenya (AWEIK), a platform that promotes and assists the participation of women in the oil, gas and mining value-chain in Kenya. She is also the Vice Chairperson of the Energy and Extractives Sector Board at the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).

Prior to joining Strathmore, Melba worked as a consultant on business and human rights at Katiba Institute, Kenya and as a corporate lawyer at Davis Polk & Wardell in New York.

Martin Ayisi

Deputy Executive Chief Officer, Minerals Commission of Ghana


A mining and petroleum lawyer with over 17 years’ experience, knowledge and tremendous interests in international environmental law, mining, energy (policy and regulation), oil and gas laws and policies. Martin has a specialized and exceptional skills in legal interpretation and the drafting of mining laws and regulations as well as a wide-range of commercial agreements and contracts used in the mining (including investment/mineral/development agreements that are widely used for large scale mining projects in Africa) and oil and gas industry globally and in particular, a sound knowledge and understanding of mining and oil and gas laws, policies and governance issues in West and East Africa. Between 2014 and 2018, Martin provided advice to the Ministry of Mining of Kenya on extractive industry governance, sector reforms particularly legal and regulatory strengthening through review of its mining laws and drafting of a wide-range of mining regulations required to implement the new mining framework. Martin also served as consultant on mining and oil and gas to a number of international organisations and consulting firms such as UNECA, IISD, Adam Smith International, Oxford Policy Management, International Development Law Organisation.

Muthoni Koinange
Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Bechtel

Muthoni is the founder and Managing Consultant at SP Advisory, a consultancy focused on Social Performance, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications with an emphasis on Oil & Gas (upstream and midstream), Renewable Energy, Mining and Infrastructure. Prior to that, Muthoni had 12 years of experience in both the private and public sectors, working as the Corporate Affairs Officer at Africa Oil Kenya B.V., and prior to that as a Trade Development Manager at the British High Commission.

These positions exposed her to a variety of sectors across the Kenyan economy, and gave her specialized training and experience in organizational development, social performance, public affairs and strategic communications. Muthoni has throughout her life and career been a passionate advocate for stakeholder engagement at the community and county levels as Kenya pursues rapid economic development. Muthoni is a member of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), the Kenya Chamber of Mines (KCM), Oil Council (UK), Collaboration for Development (C4D) hosted by World Bank and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) as an Expert (ongoing registration).

Muza Gondwe (PhD)

Partnership Facilitator

Dr Muza Gondwe is a partnership facilitator specialising in mining and sustainability.  Muza has several years experience in designing, delivering and evaluating resource governance capacity building programs for emerging resource economies and has worked in partnership with a number of international and local organisations to deliver programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion and volunteers for International Women in Mining as Senior Project Advisor and Association of Women in Mining in Africa as the AWIMA Jewellery Project Manager.

Jeff Geipel

Mining Shared Value Founder And Managing Director, Engineers Without Borders Canada

Jeff Geipel is the founder and managing director for the Mining Shared Value initiative at Engineers Without Borders Canada. This initiative works to improve the development impacts of mineral extraction in host countries through increasing local procurement by the global mining industry. Through this work Jeff is also the Community Manager for the World Bank’s Extractives-led Local Economic Diversification Community of Practice (ELLED CoP). Before Engineers Without Borders Jeff was the founder and first executive director of Fair Trade Vancouver, which became a model for municipal-based fair trade
organizations across Canada. Originally from Vancouver, Jeff holds a master’s degree in international development from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. Jeff’s work and articles have been featured by the Guardian, Devex, the Globe and Mail, National Post, Next Billion, Mining Weekly and Hill Times Magazine. Jeff currently resides in London.

Search the AWEIK website