This quarterly performance report describes achievements realized under USAID’s AMPR project in the Central African Republic (CAR) between April 1 and June 30, 2020. The implementation of project activities during this quarter was challenging due to the Government of the Central African Republic (GoCAR) COVID-19 guidelines restricting movements between the capital Bangui and the provinces as well as restricting large gatherings due to the increase in cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in CAR. GoCAR had confirmed 3,745 COVID-19 cases at the end of the reporting period, of which, 3,205 were local transmissions. AMPR management in Bangui, nonetheless, successfully coordinated the implementation of activities through its regional offices. The AMPR Chief of Party (COP) held regular consultative meetings with senior leadership of the Ministry of Mines and Geology (MMG), including meetings with the Minister, the Kimberley Process Permanent Secretariat, (KPPS), and the Chargé de Mission to discuss AMPR activities in light of evolving COVID-19 guidelines. MMG senior officials supported AMPR’s integration of COVID-19 awareness-raising in its communications and outreach engagements. Achievements are summarized below.
Objective 1: Assist the Government of the CAR to Improve Compliance with KP Requirements to Promote Licit Economic Activities:
- The MMG validated the Action Plan for Strengthening Diamond Supply Chain Governance (Plan d’action pour le renforcement de la chaîne légale du diamant centrafricain). This action plan was drafted by AMPR and reviewed and endorsed by the MMG during a working retreat in Boali. MMG’s participants, including the Minister of Mines and members of the National Committee for Official Texts reviewed the plan line-by-line, and reworked the French and the format before validating. By validating the proposed regulatory and institutional changes, the MMG demonstrated commitment to leading this reform.
- The project provided technical and logistical support to the MMG in the drafting of a decree for the formal nomination of the KPPS and Chef de Service for KPPS.
- The project analyzed technical reviews of the CAR Mining Code conducted by the African Development Bank (ADB) and provided technical analysis and feedback to the MMG.
- AMPR drafted the strategic implementation plan for the Société Centrafricaine d’Exploitation Diamantifère (SCED)-Ndéléngué pilot decentralized artisanal mining zone (ZEA) in Nola subprefecture. The plan encompasses revenue generation, management, technical assistance, and land tenure clarification.
- AMPR video subcontractor, Elie Numerique Centrafrique (ENC), completed scripts for training videos on the Kimberly Process for monitoring committees, peace and reconciliation committees, and pastoralism. ENC also translated and dubbed into Sango training videos on valuation and Sustainable Mining by Artisanal Miners (SMARTER) mining techniques.
- The project completed and printed a lexicon of artisanal mining terms in French and Sango.
- AMPR communications subcontractor Réseau des Journalistes pour les Droits de l’Homme (RJDH) completed scripts to produce 20 radio programs (30-minute duration) on the KP and ASM for local and national diffusion.
- AMPR trained the Comité Local de Suivi (CLS) of Boganda and M’Baïki on the use of the AMPR-developed meeting agendas and reporting tools. Six of the eight CLS in the KP compliant zones are trained to date.
- The project supported the organization of quarterly information, sharing and coordinating meetings under the auspices of the sub-prefecture in the compliant zones of Berberati, Boda, Boganda, Carnot, Nola, and M’Baïki.
- The project provided technical input to the reporting template for evaluating KP priority zones and participated in the evaluation mission for the KP priority zones of Abba, Bouar, Baoro, and Sosso-Nakombo.
- AMPR drafted a scope of work (SOW) for training relevant government technicians on techniques for analyzing and compiling statistics to aid in fraud detection.
- The project provided technical support to the MMG in drafting a Ministerial decree for the Technical Reflection and Exchange Committee for the CAR Extractive and Mining Sector (CTRE-RCA).
- Finally, AMPR represented USAID AMPR in MMG-convened COVID-19 donor coordination meetings with the World Bank’s Projet de Gouvernance des Ressources Naturelles (PGRN) and the EU-funded Renforcement de la Gouvernance dans les Secteurs de l’Extraction Artisanale du Diamant et de l’Or en République Centrafricaine (GODICA).
Objective 2: Strengthen Community Resilience, Social Cohesion, and Responses to Violent Conflict in the Central African Republic:
- The Ministry of Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation (MHANR) validated the “Evaluation des activités de promotion de la cohésion sociale: Résumé exécutif des conclusions et recommandations,” a summary of research findings of AMPR consultant Olivier Karana on the evolution of conflict dynamics, and the role of CLPR’s and AMPR’s social cohesion strategy.
- The project developed scripts for a short educational video on the roles and lessons learned by the CLPRs in dealing with social tensions around land, property, housing, and pastoralism for institutional communication and training purposes.
- AMPR regional offices conducted biweekly visits to each CLPR to monitor and collect data from the conflict and activity registers.
- AMPR provided technical support to MHANR to develop a protocol for the collection, analysis, transmission, and digitization of CLPR activity reports.
- AMPR partner Concordis drafted a study report on pastoralism and transhumance, which identifies key issues, knowledge gaps, and lessons learned on addressing violent conflicts related to pastoralism in the southwest of CAR.
- AMPR subcontractor Action for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship (AFPE) continued training for 21 livelihoods groups on agricultural production, working effectively as associations, village savings and loans, basic literacy, and continued technical assistance in setting up demonstration sites.
Objective 3: Increase Awareness and Understanding of the Opportunities and Challenges of Establishing Responsible Gold Supply Chains in the CAR:
- AMPR is working with subcontractor RESOLVE to develop guidelines for the CAR government and other technical partners to support the development of a national artisanal gold mining action plan.
Objective 4: Improve USAID Programming through Increased Understanding of Linkages Between Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining and Key Development Issues:
- AMPR participated in periodic international teleconferences organized by the World Bank and the ASM Delve Database on the impact of COVID-19 on the ASM sector.
- The project finalized USAID’s Gender Issues in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Sector Issue Brief.
- Finally, AMPR drafted an SOW for possible technical assistance to the USAID Colombia Mission related to their artisanal gold sector.
- COVID-19: AMPR Interventions and the Impact in CAR:
- AMPR organized a press conference for the CAR Minister of Mines to address mining sector actors on COVID-19.
- The project designed, printed, and distributed 1,000 MMG brochures on COVID-19 risks in the mining sector and mining communities.
- The project supported the airing of community radio debates on COVID-19 in the mining communities in southwest CAR, reaching more than 20,000 listeners.
- AMPR trained mining communities in Carnot and Nola on techniques for making water filters using local materials.
- AMPR organized a soap-making Training of Trainers (TOT) course for 21 AMPR-supported women’s groups in Boda, Carnot, and Nola.
- AMPR assisted in designing an MMG COVID-19 poster on COVID-19 risky behaviors in the mining sector and communities.
- The project co-convened six biweekly teleconference discussions on COVID-19 considerations and implications on ASM in CAR with USAID AMPR implementing partners Concordis, Levin Sources, and representatives from GODICA and the World Bank.
- Finally, AMPR published a blog on USAID’s LandLinks on AMPR COVID-19 interventions entitled, “Mobilizing to address COVID-19 in vulnerable diamond and gold mining communities.”