Two big steps forward for DDI cooperatives

Two big steps forward for DDI cooperatives

Building capacity using the multiplier effect

In August 2017, DDI organized informational sessions in Kinshasa for representatives of the 10 cooperatives that are part of the DDI program, and for the civil society organizations accompanying them. The workshops were part of DDI’s ongoing strategy to increase the knowledge of artisanal miners on elements that are fundamental to their mining operations and to the governance of their cooperatives.

Additional training will be offered in each province to deepen the understanding of the previous and new participants, and to establish a pool of trained trainers for the sustainability of all programs. The trainers will be responsible for teaching other members of their respective cooperatives.

The meetings in Kinshasa also included four government representatives from SAEMAPE (formerly known as SAESSCAM), the government agency responsible for supporting artisanal mining sector in the DRC.

Workshops covered the following subjects:
1) Cooperative governance
2) Conflict resolution
3) Maendeleo Diamond Standards
4) Kimberley Process (KP) compliance requirements
5) Mining code of the DRC.

Marie-Chantal Kaninda, Executive Director of the World Diamond Council and former board member of DDI, presented a full-day session on the Kimberley Process as well as the demands and opportunities of the international market.

Because of the training on the mining code, the participating cooperatives are now preparing an advocacy document to make recommendations to the current revision process of the mining code of DRC. The suggestions will reflect the needs and priorities of miners not addressed in the current mining code.

In addition to the training, DDI also started the creation of self-training materials that will be used by the trainers to train other members of the community. The training materials are adapted to the literacy levels of the miners for easy understanding.

Introducing Maendelo Diamond Standards in the DRC

The Maendeleo Diamond Standards program was launched in Kinshasa, DRC on August 24, 2017. The launch was presided by the Director of Cabinet of the Minister of Mines, in the presence of other government representatives from SAEMAPE, department of Mining Cadaster, CEEC (Centre for Mineral evaluation), representatives of civil society, and representatives of cooperatives.

In the months to come, DDI plans to roll out the standards and monitor their implementation in 25 diamond-mining sites in two provinces, through four miners’ cooperatives in these zones.

DDI’s cooperative program in the DRC is made possible through the generous support of the Tiffany & Co. Foundation.