Promoting legal, responsible diamond and gold supply chains and strengthening social cohesion in the Central African Republic (CAR).
The Artisanal Mining and Property Rights (AMPR) project is a Task Order under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights (STARR) II Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quality Contract (IDIQ), centrally managed by E3’s Land and Urban Office in Washington. AMPR supports the establishment of legal, responsible supply chains and strengthening peace in artisanal mining areas primarily in the Central African Republic (CAR). AMPR can also provide on-demand, short-term technical assistance to any USAID Mission or Operating Unit (OU) on development challenges associated with Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM).
Legal and responsible artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) supply chains can promote peace and stability and provide livelihoods for men and women. However, the ASM sector remains largely informal and rife with criminal activity and corruption. The majority of ASM diamond and gold exports flow through illegal channels, depriving governments of revenues, with diggers and miners suffering from conflict and violence. The Central African Republic is particularly dependent on the artisanal mining economy. Expansion of compliant zones for diamond exports and strengthening the legal trade is needed to help rebuild the country’s economy and reduce violence.
From 2007 to 2013, Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD) I project assisted the government of the CAR in Lobaye, Sangha Mbaere, and Mambere Kadei provinces to improve the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) by tracing diamond sales, strengthening mechanisms to issue licenses to artisanal miners, assisting communities with livelihood diversification, and mitigating environmental damage from ASM. PRADD I closed early in 2013 due to the fall of the Bozize regime. USAID launched Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD) II in CAR in 2015, focused on developing the legal diamond supply chain per the KPCS framework for CAR.
Launched in 2018, USAID’s Artisanal Mining and Property Rights (AMPR) project builds on a long history of USAID investment in responsible sourcing in the CAR through the Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD) projects. AMPR supports the establishment of legal, responsible supply chains and strengthens peace in artisanal mining areas in CAR, and provides technical assistance to USAID missions through four objectives:
Objective I Assist the government of CAR to improve compliance with Kimberley Process requirements to promote licit economic activities.
Objective 2 Strengthen community resilience, social cohesion, and responses to violent conflict.
Objective 3 Increase awareness and understanding of the opportunities and challenges of establishing responsible gold supply chains
Objective 4 Improve USAID programming through increased understanding of linkages between artisanal and small-scale mining and key development issues
Approach & Achievements
- IMPROVING KIMBERLEY PROCESS COMPLIANCE. A multilateral trade regime established in 2003, the Kimberley Process (KP) aims to stem the flow of conflict diamonds. AMPR seeks to improve CAR’s compliance with the KP through national and regional coordination, diplomacy, awareness raising, policy reform, formalization, institutional strengthening, and targeted technical and material assistance. Achievements to date include:
- Conducted a rigorous cross-border study of smuggling and fraud in CAR’s mining sector
- Drafted a road map for strengthening diamond supply chain governance, including regulatory and institutional changes.
- Developed a grassroots communications strategy to increase knowledge and application of KP procedures by all actors across the supply chain
- Initiated direct engagements with the World Bank to contribute to regulatory and institutional reform efforts of the Ministry of Mines and Geology.
- STRENGTHENING SOCIAL COHESION. In cooperation with CAR’s Ministry of Humanitarian Action and its network of Community Peace and Reconciliation Committees, AMPR is supporting inclusive community dialogue to resolve conflict over land and natural resources; strengthening committees, enhancing the role of women in artisanal mining, and facilitating inter-ministerial collaboration. Illustrative achievements:
- Conducted an assessment of Peace and Reconciliation Committees (CLPR) in compliant zones
- Developed a Conflict Registry for committees to gather data and monitor conflict cases
- Conducted research to inform an action plan for combating armed pastoralism
- Consulted with stakeholders, including representatives of women’s groups to develop a Gender Action Plan and identify economic diversification activities for women
- UNDERSTANDING RESPONSIBLE GOLD SUPPLY CHAINS. Applied research on CAR’s gold supply chain aims to point to strategies to align CAR’s growing gold production with national and international laws and norms. Progress to date includes:
- Completed a diagnostic study to assess the ASM gold economy
- Developed an interactive web map of 322 gold and diamond mining sites
- Conducted a market readiness assessment
- Trained key stakeholders on the principles of due diligence and the Code of Risk Mitigation for Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining for Formal Trade (CRAFT)
- IMPROVING ASM PROGRAMMING. In addition to its CAR-focused work, AMPR is assessing links between ASM and development issues; facilitating knowledge sharing and improved understanding of ASM in development; participating in international forums; and demonstrating thought leadership through academic articles. Illustrative activities to date:
- Contributed to successful adoption of limited changes to CAR’s Operational Framework
- Produced a brief on USAID’s ASM activities and presented in USAID ASM webinar
- Researched gold supply chains in Ghana and Burkina Faso
- USAID AMPR implements field activities in the southwest part of the country over the Carnot Sandstone, the location of alluvial diamond deposits. While gold is mined throughout, most gold deposits are on the northwestern fringes of this geological formation.
USAID AMPR implements field activities in the southwest part of the country over the Carnot Sandstone, the location of alluvial diamond deposits. While gold is mined throughout, most gold deposits are on the northwestern fringes of this geological formation.