Yves Bawa of Pact and Kay Nimmo of ITRI, leading figures at the head of the iTSCi Programme, have come out as the leading two nominees in a vote to make the list of top 100 Conflict Minerals Influence Leaders in 2016. Between them, Yves and Kay garnered 809 votes which equates to nearly a quarter of the popular vote. This is a reflection of the great work and commitment from both Yves and Kay in building the iTSCi Programme into the only upstream industry mechanism getting results at a large scale across the African Great Lakes region.

As Manager of Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs at ITRI, Kay first became involved in discussions on conflict minerals in 2008 and formed the ITRI Working Group to find a practical solution. In 2010, this resulted in the start of the iTSCi Programme (ITRI Tin Supply Chain Initiative) and organisation of the first on-the-ground traceability pilot project in the DRC. The capacity building NGO Pact was invited to assist with the pilot project and Yves Bawa, as a technical expert in artisanal mining in the DRC, became closely involved with managing activities in the region.

Over the past 5 years, Kay and Yves have shown strong leadership at international and local levels to ensure the credibility of iTSCi is recognised and therefore that the miners in the Great Lakes region continue to have the opportunity to access the international market for their minerals. Built from nothing in a short time, iTSCi now helps more than 300 upstream companies, 1500 mine areas and 70,000 miners working in DRC, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, not only in the production of tin but also tantalum and tungsten minerals, or the ‘3T’s’.

In 2015, iTSCi continued to expand the geographic area benefiting from the programme and most importantly established activity in the heart of the original conflict mineral area, the Walikale territory of North Kivu, DRC. This was a vital milestone in the progress to peace and stability in the region and a huge achievement made possible through previous years’ success.

Kay is the tin representative of the iTSCi Governance Committee and implements non-field activities of iTSCi as the secretariat of the Programme, while Yves is the regional programme manager for field activities in-region. Kay also contributed to drafting the text of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance and regularly participates in relevant meetings at the international level while Yves continues to play a role in other projects improving the circumstances for artisanal miners in the region. Both also work with, and appreciate the support of, other iTSCi partners including local governments.

The result of the popular vote highlights the extent of support enjoyed by iTSCi and the appreciation of the fantastic results achieved which have benefited thousands of lives over the past 5 years. You can find the full results and list of nominees here.