Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – As part of their initiative aimed at boosting Sierra Leone’s economic development, Mano Mining and Logistics Limited (MMLL), one of Sierra Rutile’s local contractors, has recently launched a training program focusing on mining skills including the operation of larger machinery. This program is set to create skilled individuals who will contribute to the mining and logistics sectors, promising positive impacts on the local community.
In an interview with Ibrahim Mansaray, the CEO of MMLL, he shared that 150 Sierra Leoneans will benefit from their training initiative. This includes 50 employees as trainers and 100 participants in the mining industry. The first phase begins in January, followed by a second phase in March 2024, aiming to enhance the local workforce’s overall development.
Disclosing that as a way of showing commitment to promoting gender equality, MMLL has allocated 30% of training slots to women, aiming to foster diversity and equal opportunities in traditionally male-dominated industries.
According to him, the training program covers both theoretical and practical aspects of mining and logistics, ensuring participants acquire a comprehensive understanding of the industry, opening up job opportunities for them, and enhancing their overall expertise of the local workforce.
The CEO mentioned “The program’s participant selection criteria include factors such as aptitude, commitment, and a desire to contribute to the mining and logistics sectors, ensuring a pool of motivated individuals from the North, South and Western Area, ready to make a meaningful impact.
Stating that as participants complete the program, they will receive certifications, validating their skills and enhancing employability in the mining and logistics industries, Mansaray revealed plans for ongoing support or mentorship post-training, partnerships with local organizations, and community involvement.
“The long-term benefits extend beyond individual skill development, contributing to sustainable economic growth, reduced dependency on external expertise, and a stronger, more skilled local workforce,” he stressed.
Sarah Kamara, a participant in MMLL’s training program expressed her excitement about the positive impact the program is having on the local community.
She said “This training goes beyond just acquiring skills. It is about creating opportunities for us to contribute meaningfully to Sierra Leone’s mining and logistics sectors. We are not just learners, we are contributors to our community’s growth.”
Sarah shared, “Being part of the 30% is empowering. It sends a strong message that women belong in these industries, and we have the skills to prove it.”
Another, Isata Brima told Awoko that MMLL’s commitment does not end with the training period. She discussed plans for ongoing support and mentorship, emphasizing post-training guidance and access to resources, adding “Knowing that there is support after the training gives us confidence as we step into the industry.”
Success, for Sarah, Isata and others in the program, goes beyond completion certificates, MMLL aims to measure success in gender equality by tracking the women who complete the program, secure employment, and contribute to the mining and logistics sectors.
Highlighting the role of the local community, the CEO expressed gratitude stating “The support from communities we operate in is crucial. They provide insights, engage with the program, and support us. It is a collective effort.”
Looking to the future, he emphasized the long-term benefits of empowering local talent, noting “It is not just about them, it is about Sierra Leone’s sustainable development, reduced dependency on external expertise and a stronger, skilled workforce, that is the vision.” PSN/16/1/2024