DRC gathering addresses importance of internal controls in ASM sector

DRC gathering addresses importance of internal controls in ASM sector

Every diamond that makes it to your local mall, or your ears or finger, has made a long and complex journey from mining to cutting and polishing, to setting, to sale, often stopping off in several countries along the way.

And they are being followed.

Countries that produce, import, or export diamonds must be a member of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, an international mechanism aimed at stemming the flow of conflict diamonds. The KP requirement for a system of traceability, known as internal controls, begins at the mining site and continues on as diamonds change hands all the way to the point of export. This process presents particular challenges in some producing countries, especially those with a vast land mass, extensive artisanal and small-scale mining, porous borders, and a history of informal – sometimes illegal – trading.

Such is the case with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In July of 2016, the Diamond Development Initiative and the CEEC (Centre d’Evaluation, d’Expertise et de Certification) of the DRC held a seminar in Kinshasa on the Kimberley Process, bringing together government officials and bureaucrats from various departments involved in facilitating and monitoring the supply chain. Attendees included representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Mines, Customs, the Police force, Promines, SAESSCAM and the Mining Cadastre.

The goal of the meetings was to educate these stakeholders on the Kimberley Process (KP) and its requirements, and help to understand the roles of the various government entities in the implementation of the KP. At a political level, it is hoped that understanding the importance of the KP should help ensure adequate budget for the implementation of internal controls and strong representation in KP meetings and working groups.

The executive director of DDI, Dorothée Gizenga, who acted as facilitator along with CEEC representative and KP Focal Point Mathieu Yamba, notes that the seminar was highly relevant to the work of DDI because traceability is an important element in the formalization of artisanal mining. “Because of its informal nature and history of neglect, the artisanal sector presents special challenges to the development and implementation of internal controls,” she said, “making a rigorous and collaborative approach even more urgent.”

The various government departments represented at the seminar left with recommendations on how to improve their own role in monitoring the diamond supply chain and will be followed up by a team appointed at the gathering.