GemFair has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Mano River Union (MRU) in a bid to develop and deliver a capacity building programme in West Africa.
The partnership will see them jointly deliver a regional training programme that aims to “enhance capacities, promote knowledge sharing and build a comprehensive understanding of mine site health and safety”.
It will also train participants, including miners, government officials and civil society activists, in environmental management, ethical sourcing standards and diamond valuation.
The training will also be designed to enhance knowledge of OECD requirements and introduce safer and more environmentally friendly mining techniques for artisanal miners in the MRU region.
The initiative is part of GIZ’s regional resource governance programme, while the MRU is the main programme partner regarding regional activities in artisanal and small-scale mining, and the trade of gold and diamonds in the MRU region.
GemFair, a De Beers Group initiative, will design the training curricula and provide staff and expertise to deliver the training.
Feriel Zerouki, senior vice-president international relations and ethical initiatives, De Beers Group and general manager, GemFair, said: “GemFair is committed to helping advance the ASM sector and one of the critical first steps is to enhance capacities to raise standards across the sector.
“We are pleased to be partnering with GIZ and MRU on this ambitious training programme and look forward to sharing our knowledge and providing our training expertise in the areas of ethical mining practices, responsible sourcing and diamond valuation to more stakeholders in the West Africa region.”
Medina Wesseh, secretary general of Mano River Union said: “The Regional Approach to the Kimberley Process, artisanal and small-scale mining and the fight against precious mineral smuggling in the Mano River Union sub-region is producing important positive results on the management of the artisanal mining sector, for the benefit of the four MRU member states.
“The signed MoU is one of the high points in the implementation of the project, as the objective is to improve the capacities of the stakeholders, knowing that the results from improved capacities are good practices, more efficient management of the sector, better results and increased positive impacts.”