This quarterly performance report describes achievements realized under USAID’s AMPR project in CAR between October 1 and December 31, 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the implementation of project activities during this quarter was successfully adjusted to consider the measures of the AMPR COVID-19 Contingency and Response Plan in Bangui and three regional offices. This plan is updated regularly to ensure compliance with new directives from GoCAR and USAID. Discussions with USAID continue on how to respond to the COVID-19 situation given GoCAR’s stance that the pandemic is no longer a threat and life should get back to normal. The project engaged International SOS to prepare a due diligence report and COVID-19 protocols, which have been reviewed by USAID. The project also produced a fieldwork checklist, which aims to ensure that staff understand and comply with AMPR COVID-19 protocols while on field missions. AMPR is currently in the process of responding to USAID feedback, as well as integrating feedback from a local Central African public health expert.
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. He also engaged with WHO and Red Cross CAR to discuss COVID-19 measures at the workplace. WHO provided several documents to sensitize the AMPR team, including information on the risks of COVID-19, the importance of wearing face masks, how to reduce COVID-19 stigmatization of health workers and families, and communicating with COVID-19 patients. AMPR has established direct contacts with WHO to obtain COVID-19 updates and documents pertinent to CAR. WHO also put AMPR in touch with the District Health Officers/doctors in AMPR operations zones to share developments from our regional offices.
The achievements of the AMPR team for the period are summarized below
Objective 1: Assist the Government of the CAR to Improve Compliance with KP Requirements to Promote Licit Economic Activities:
- Provided technical support to the MMG to implement proposed interventions to strengthen diamond supply chain governance, including regulatory and institutional changes.
- Cameroon’s Ministry of Mines, Industry, and Technological Development (MINMIDT) approved the CAR MMG request for a cross-border mission to present the results of the smuggling diagnostic on diamonds in CAR and identification of opportunities for cross-border coordination and experience sharing. The mission will take place in 2021, subject to the prevailing COVID-19 conditions.
- The project provided technical and logistical support to the MMG in the training, induction, and installation of the KPPS, directors, and chefs de services for the new KP structure in CAR.
- The project analyzed a technical review of the CAR Mining Code conducted by the African Development Bank and provided technical analysis and feedback to the World Bank consultant.
- AMPR coordinated with the Support for the Professionalization of Mining Cooperatives (APCM) project to deploy its community mobilizers to Société Centrafricaine d’Exploitation Diamantifère (SCED)-Ndéléngué pilot Zone d’Exploitation Artisanale (ZEA) in Nola to start preparatory work with cooperatives. MMG and AMPR held consultations in the Carnot subprefecture on setting up similar pilot ZEAs.
- AMPR video subcontractor, Elie Numerique Centrafrique, filmed and produced seven short videos and two documentaries. The documentaries focused on the Kimberley Process and peacebuilding committees (CLPR).
- Printed and distributed 200 copies of a French-Sango lexicon of mining terms used by artisanal miners and stakeholders in the supply chain.
- Produced and distributed 400 posters on the KP supply chain in CAR. The posters were used to sensitize over 1,200 artisanal miners in the KP compliant zones.
- The project provided technical and logistical support to reconstitute the KP. Local Monitoring Committees (CLS) in Gadzi and Boganagone. The CLS have been reconstituted in all the eight KP compliant zones.
- AMPR participated and co-chaired 16 bi-weekly virtual discussions on considerations and implications of COVID-19 on ASM in CAR.
Objective 2: Strengthen Community Resilience, Social Cohesion, and Responses to Violent Conflict in the Central African Republic:
- The project held coordination meetings with the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation (MHANR) to finalize strategies for the CLPR local coordination frameworks and Y3 work plan activities on social cohesion.
- AMPR, in coordination with the technical team of the MHANR, developed a template for reporting CLPR activities and training the CLPRs on how to record conflict and activities in local registers.
- The project developed a short educational video on the role of CLPRs and lessons learned 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 and logistical support for joint missions with MMG and the National Union of Mining Cooperatives of Central Africa (UNCMCA) Gender Focal Points to identify opportunities to strengthen women’s role in the mining sector.
- AMPR subcontractor Association of Women for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship (AFPE) continued training 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 held several consultative meetings with the Bureau of Evaluation and Regulation of Diamonds and Gold (BECDOR) to discuss support for gold evaluation and exportation.
Objective 4: Improve USAID Programming through Increased Understanding of Linkages Between Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining and Key Development Issues:
- AMPR presented on the diamond supply chain disruptions in CAR as part of the World Bank virtual forum “Rethinking ASM Formalization: How COVID-19’s disruption can be catalyzed for development”.
- Completed CAR ASM country profile for the ASM DELVE database covering the country’s policies, regulations, production, and other information drawing from available resources.
- The journal Resources Policy published a paper on the Société pour le Développement Minier de la Côte d’Ivoire (SODEMI) model of diamond co-management between the government and customary landowners in Côte d’Ivoire, co-authored by the Component 4 Coordinator based on research conducted under PRADD II. USAID AMPR covered the fees to make the article open access. It is available HERE.