Scaling Up Mineral Trade - a project supporting the iTSCi Programme in the Great Lakes Region with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Netherlands
Scaling up Mineral Trade
iTSCi and Pact are benefiting from a three-year project with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands (MFA) to achieve "Scaling up Mineral Trade" in the Great Lakes Region of central Africa (press release found here). Funding from the MFA will support field activities of Pact, the implementing partner of the iTSCi Programme in the region, in order to bring more miners and their communities back into the responsible international market; something that will result in economic opportunity locally, and an expectation of improved security and governance. The project will also add social value through provision of training on savings and business skills, improving health and safety in artisanal mines, and addressing various human rights issues in the mining sector such as gender equity.
The Netherlands’ Minister for Development and Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, explains that “A few years ago, we were struggling to balance the need to prevent the fuelling of conflict with the need to use mining as a motor for economic and social development. Now I think we are starting to find this balance – thanks to increased security, and thanks to the many stakeholders who refused to give up on the Great Lakes as a provider of minerals to the world. However, there is more to be done; more mines need to become conflict free, so that more communities can benefit from the responsible export that contributes to sustainable development…communities need to be empowered to benefit from the increasing economic opportunities in and around the mines.”
The project will enable iTSCi to increase the inclusion of 3Ts mines by around 25%, the number of trained government representatives by roughly 33%, improve data collection and strengthen capacity of local stakeholders to monitor the integrity of the system. Importantly, the project also aims to maximise the benefits available to local participants from the exploitation of mineral resources through training in literacy, savings and business management, as well as raising awareness of safety issues and supporting women’s representation and opportunities in the sector.
Opportunities exist for downstream companies (please see iTSCi phase 3 leaflet here) and other donors to contribute and extend this important work and we welcome new supporters to this exciting opportunity to bring together the private sector with public funding to achieve trade and development aims.
Conflict-Free Tin Initiative
The project for Scaling Up Mineral Trade follows on from the Conflict Free Tin Initiative (CFTI) which ran from 2012 to June 2014 and also supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. In 2012 the de-facto embargo persisted across South and North Kivu as well as many areas of Maniema, and adjoining countries not at that time within the iTSCi Programme, and the MFA took action to encourage international sourcing of conflict-free minerals from high-risk areas by financing the re-launch the iTSCi Programme in the Kivu Provinces of DRC, specifically the Kalimbi mine in Nyabibwe area of South Kivu. The CFTI represented an important milestone towards conflict-free mineral trading in the DRC, proving that due diligence and traceability is possible, even in the most challenging circumstances.
Archived webpages from the CFTI project can be found here.
Phase 3 of iTSCi provides an opportunity to improve operating conditions and social issues in Artisanal Mining. More information on Phase 3 activities and how to get involved can be found here