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Linking Geoheritage, Artisanal Mining and Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Enrollment in this course is by invitation only

About This Course

The geologic and geomorphological diversity of Africa, the spectacular landscapes that result, and their internationally important ecological and cultural/archaeological associations, all make the landscapes of Southern Africa prime sites for geoheritage and geotourism. To date, however, there has been little work to develop and document this potential. Geoheritage protection and management is new and important for Africa, particularly its link with Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS), as it relates to the history of indigenous mining and the progression to current mining practices including artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). This brings about the opportunity to develop and document the connection between geoheritage, indigenous knowledge systems and ASM in Africa. Through these linkages, identify avenues to increase geoheritage contribution to sustainable living and job creation for rural communities and women in particular while preserving history and traditional practices.

Course Objective

The aim of the course is to build capacity on the importance of geoheritage, artisanal and small-scale mining and indigenous knowledge systems in Africa.

Learning Objectives

  • To provide an understanding of ASM in Africa;
  • To unpack indigenous knowledge systems, their historical and current links with ASM as well as geosciences in Africa.
  • To provide insights into geoheritage, geodiversity protection and management, and benefits as they relate to IKS and ASM
  • To identify the opportunities from the synergies between geoheritage, ASM and indigenous IKS
  • To unpack the participation and roles of women in historical mining activities and how traditional involvement can be used to enhance women empowerment in current mining.

Work Load

The course will run for 5 days from the 20 to 24 September 2021. The course will comprise of:

  • Two-hours live sessions delivered over three days (20, 22, 24 September)
  • Pre-recorded presentations for participants to go through over two days (i.e. 21 and 23 September).

Course Content

The course will cover the following aspects:

  • Artisanal and small-scale mining in Africa;
  • Indigenous Knowledge Systems;
  • Geoheritage and its importance in Africa;
  • Synergies between geoheritage, ASM and indigenous knowledge systems;
  • Role of women in ASM;
  • Case studies of the geoheritage sites.

Target audience

This course is designed specifically for geoscientists and mining professionals in their early-stage careers in Africa.

Meet the Course Instructors

Prof Nellia Mutemeri

Prof Nellia Mutemeri – University of the Witwatersrand

Professor Nellie Mutemeri, is a Mineral Resources Governance Expert with a PhD in Geology. She is the founding Director and Mining Practice Lead of MutConsult. She is also the Director of the Mineral Resources Governance Research Group and Associate Professor in the School of Mining Engineering, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. She is a scientific board member at the UNESCO International Geosciences Council Programme and serves an advisor to the Diamond Development Initiative. She is an Associate Editor for Editorial Board of the IUGS Journal “Episodes” . She has more than 30 years’ experience advising the public and private sector in the mining and minerals sector in Africa, Latin America and Asia, in sustainable development focusing on strategy, mining policy and governance, legislation and strategy, artisanal and small-scale mining formalisation, gender equality, responsible supply chains and ethical audits.

Jasper Knight

Prof Jasper Knight – University of the Witwatersrand

Professor Jasper Knight is in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies. He is a geoscientist with research interests in the spatial and temporal variability in landscape system responses to climate and environmental changes during the late Pleistocene and Holocene, looking at sediments and geomorphology. His research focuses thematically on glaciers, rivers, coasts and mountains. His work focuses geographically on the UK and Ireland, northwest USA, Australia, European Alps, various locations in Asia, and across both southern and northern (Saharan) Africa. He is the editor of three major international journals (Sedimentary Geology, Journal of Maps, Land Degradation & Development). His teaching and student supervision focuses on the interconnections between the physical and human environments, landscape change, and environmental resources of the past, present and future.

Hudson Mtegha

Prof Hudson Mtegha – University of the Witwatersrand

Prof Hudson Mtegha, a Malawian, has worked in the Southern African mining industry for over 40 years and is a qualified mining engineer and mineral economist. He has held senior positions in the private and public sectors. He was Chief Mining Engineer with the Malawi government and Mineral Economist with the SADC Mining Coordinating Unit. Hudson was with Johannesburg-based Minerals and Energy Policy Centre, and a senior mineral economist at Mintek in Mineral Economics and Strategy Unit. He has worked extensively on the policy issues on the mineral sector of the SADC and the African continental AMV with various entities. He lectured at the University of the Witwatersrand in the School of Mining Engineering for six years where he is a Visiting Adjunct Professor. Currently he is with DMT Kai Batla Pty Ltd, South Africa.

Monica Gichuhi

Monica Gichuhi - Association of Women in Mining in Africa (AWIMA)

Monica is a consultant in the mining sector in Africa currently focused on promoting responsible sourcing of minerals through her initiative the Africa Gem Exhibition and Conference (AGEC). She works to support Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners (ASM) on responsible mining methods, trade and financing options, promote value addition and enhance traceability in the minerals supply chain. She previously worked as the Advisor to the Minister at the Ministry of Mining in Kenya on Policy, Strategy and Institutional reforms where she oversaw the legislative reforms in the Mining sector. Prior to joining Government, she held the position of Chief Executive Officer at the Kenya Chamber of Mines representing the interests of the private sector stakeholders in the mining industry. She serves as the Eastern Africa Representative in the board of the Association of Women in Mining in Africa (AWIMA) and in the Advisory Board of the Black in Jewellery Coalition both organisations champion the cause for greater gender inclusivity in the mining and jewellery industry value chain.

Additional presentations on fieldwork conducted in the outreach countries will be given by the following young professionals:

  • Dr. Njabulo Chipangura – Zimbabwe
  • Isheanesu Shereni Ndoro – Zimbabwe
  • Patience Singo – Uganda
  • Ruth Mbabazi – Uganda
  • Pontsho Twala – South Africa



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