An recent evaluation meeting of the iTSCi Programme in the DRC held between technical experts of the national Ministry of Mines and the Programme team helped to cement the strong co-operation between the organisations involved, raise important issues for discussion and develop actions to resolve roadblocks to expanding conflict–free 3T mineral production in the DRC. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Joseph Ikoli Yombo Y’apeke, Director du Cabinet Adjoint of the Minister of Mines and included experts of the Ministry’s Mining services, as well as staff from ITRI (as managers of the iTSCi Programme) and the iTSCi field implementation teams under the guidance of Pact. The primary preoccupation of the Minister of Mines and the mining services was the urgent and essential need for expansion of iTSCi to all conflict-free mines in the four important Provinces for the 3T sector; North and South Kivu, Maniema and Katanga. The Ministry and iTSCi agree on the objective to increase the scope as rapidly as possible but iTSCi faces a significant funding challenge, particularly in the first years of start-up. The majority of iTSCi activities have so far been started and maintained by industry funds, however, private sector investment is hard to justify and obtain in higher risk zones. It was therefore concluded that both parties would search for the donor funding that is essential to overcome this current roadblock to expansion and further progress towards a conflict-free 3T mining sector. Joseph IKOLI YOMBO Y’APEKE emphasised that “The Ministry is fully supportive of the iTSCi Programme and we hope that donors, appreciating the success and rapid progress achieved so far, will find a way to commit funds to the implementation of iTSCi and capacity building of the mining services of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).” A positive technical discussion relating to data management was also held and co-operation will continue to ensure data is shared on a regular basis in an appropriate manner. Actions were also taken to address other important challenges and Yves Bawa of Pact, and Regional Programme Manager for iTSCi explained how extensive work is carried out to transfer support and skills to those in the Mining Services of the DRC that are responsible for implementing the traceability element of the Programme but why additional funding is necessary.
DRC Ministry of Mines and iTSCi seek funds for expansion
Oct 2, 2013