Fourera So, Head of Environment and Sustainable development, ORANO Mining Group

Fourera Sotty Maiga: Empowering Women and Addressing Global Energy and Health Challenges

The mining industry is one of the challenging industries to pursue business in. It takes lot of courage and will-power especially for women leaders to work in tough and challenging environment like mining industry. It is no secret that the mining, oil, and energy sector is dominated by the men. Some women who are in it, as for them there they collect and manage disparities. Resilient women leaders find their way even through challenging sectors and are able to thrive even in such environments. Fourera Sotty Maiga is one such leader who is pursuing her ambitions in such challenging sectors and making worthwhile contribution, and who considers it is important to have courage, will, commitment and belief in one’s capacities.

Member, Founder, and President of Association de Women of the Sector of the Extractive Industries of Niger (AFSIEN); Vice-Coordinator de Women in Mining of West Africa (WIMOWA), Fourera Sotty Maiga work (Niger Orano Mining) for the implementation of the strategic drawing across its missions and shares in favour of the women of the extractive sector domestically and regional of the Africain west zone. Her responsibilities include carrying the voice of the women, promoting them and improving their working and living conditions, and resolving the challenges faced by women in the mining sectors who belong to the basic salaries. As a recognized international operator in the field of nuclear materials, Orano delivers solutions to address present and future global energy and health challenges.

Being Advantageous to Women    

At the level of AFSIEN, Fourera works to implement the distribution of shares planned to the advantage of the women in a long-lasting, fair, and beneficial way. Its missions and objectives are similar at the level of WIMOWA. All these ambitions to the advantage of the women brought to it has set up the Association of Women in Mining of Africa (AWIMA) in November 2019.

It has all become possible due to Fourera’s working years (18), her experiences within COMINAK, ORANO MINING Group. Her experience started at the level of the industrial site of exploitation in ARLIT (NIGER), which continued at the level of the seat of ORANO (AREVA Ex) in Paris-La-Défense, to end in the office of COMINAK in Niamey in NIGER. This background allowed her to be chosen in 2020, among 100 the MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN OF THE WORLD MINING SECTOR by WOMEN IN MINING UK.

Ensuring Access to Strategic Development and Empowerment

In the opinion of Fourera, today, women are at the heart of discussions of standards and laws in the mining and oil sectors, which have the planetary scale. It is because at first for their minority, then their position is non-strategic that makes them vulnerable targets in the sector. It is important to be able to listen to them finally and consider their concerns.

Valuing Sound and Stimulating Work Environment

An environment of sound work on the human drawing is important for Fourera because contact, correlation with other people establish a wealth to themselves. It is primordial to succeed work and to give positive results within the company. The equation which defines Fourera is:

Sound Environment + Stimulating Work = Puts on payroll Boosted and committed

One puts on payroll boost will move mountains for its company to bring it to the top. Positive working culture is implemented has fault implication, consideration, confidence, and communication. These elements establish in the barometer of evaluation of the positive culture of the company themselves. In this way Fourera values positive work environment.

Bringing Solutions to Current and Future Challenges

Fourera mentions that international operator was recognized in the field of nuclear material. Orano brings solutions to the current and future challenges, in energy and health. Its expertise as well as its control of high technologies allow Orano to propose to its customers of products and high value-added services on the whole fuel cycle. She says, “Thanks to their skills, their requirement as regards safety and their constant search for innovation, all the 16 500 employees of the group make a commitment to develop know-how of processing and of control of nuclear material, for climate, for health and for thrifty world in resources, today and tomorrow.”

Giving Back to the Community

Talking about giving back to the community, Fourera mentions that beyond industrial activities, the mining companies and Orano invested dozens of billion FCFA to improve the health of populations, the schooling of the children, the access to the water and the economic development of the municipalities of the sites of implementation of the mining sites. Orano finances Irhazer project so in Niger at the level of 17 million euros with a view to contributing to the long-lasting food safety of populations by developing systems of irrigation in the dust bowls of the region of Agadez. This support lasts since about forty years, and voluntary way is made. Since the advent of RSE and of the Sustainable development, this support became definite.

For Fourera’s share, the consideration and searches for adequate solutions and adapted to the local context are her contribution to the development of the community to take up quoted known challenges.

If given a chance to bring one change, she will make sure that voices of the women are preponderant in decisions of retrocessions of the incomes of mining and oil exploitation, because they establish the majority community with inevitably the children. Change will be also visible and considerable at due level country as part of development. It is currently one of her main missions within structures the destinies of which she governs.

To budding women entrepreneurs in the mining, oil and energy industry, she gives four pieces of advice:

Do not reinvent the wheel,

Apply the existent best practice to improve and adapt to the context

Have courage, will and commitment

Believe in your capacities

Envisioning Women in Higher Responsibilities

There is so much as a leader, Fourera focuses her energy at the level of profit and of profits of the incomes of the activities of the women in the extractive sector especially mining small business sector.

Before 2026, Fourera would like to see:

  • Women in jobs of high responsibility (Managing director, CEO, …)
  • The women of the sector pass of a craft mining to a semi-industrial mining or even industrial and these exploitations are managed and belonging to the Women!