Pact have released a report providing an in-depth look at traceability and due diligence, as well as on-the-ground progress and challenges for conflict-free minerals in the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi. The report, Unconflicted: Making Conflict-free Mining a Reality in the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi, calls for continued dedication and effort from local governments, mineral traders and corporations in order to maintain progress. But it doesn’t gloss over the challenges. The report can be found here.
Throughout Africa’s Great Lakes region, the international community has closely watched, and regulated, the extraction and sale of conflict minerals – tin, tungsten tantalum (3Ts) and gold – in the hopes of curtailing ongoing violence. In 2010, Pact, an international development nonprofit, along with regional governments, companies and other partners, began implementing the joint industry traceability and due diligence system iTSCi.
“In the five years since the partnership began, iTSCi has protected and improved the lives of tens of thousands of miners across hundreds of mines,” said Yves Bawa, regional director for Congo, Rwanda and Burundi and iTSCi program manager at Pact. Today, the system includes more than 1,300 mine sites, of which close to 850 are currently active and supporting at least 80,000 miners. As a Congolese citizen, I’m very proud of what we have achieved in my country,” says Bawa. “However, there are many important socioeconomic issues connected to mineral supply chains. We need to not only support traceability and due diligence, but overlay desperately needed development programs for miners, their families and communities.”