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DDI REPORTS FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS FROM AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS
27 November 2012

 

The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) said that African governments have made financial contributions to its work.

 

Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have donated to DDI's work in the artisanal diamond mining sector.

 

There are an estimated 1.5 million artisanal diamond miners in Africa, and the majority work on their own in the informal sector and most earn less than $1 a day.

 

They are estimated to collectively support an additional 7.5 million family members.

 

"They work in unsafe and difficult circumstances," the DDI says in a statement. "Many are children. Artisanal mining areas are where conflict diamonds originated, and they remain volatile. DDI has programs aimed at ending child labor and bringing miners into the formal sector where working conditions and incomes can be improved.

 

"It is developing human rights training programs and a 'development diamond' project that will use independent third party monitoring to track diamonds from ethical mine sites through to the jewelry retail sector. DDI works closely with African governments on these projects and in the Kimberley Process where industry, civil society and governments seek to ensure that conflict diamonds cannot again recur," the DDI adds.

 

The DRC's Minister of Mines Martin Kabwelulu said in quotes provided by the DDI that the DDI has a "special place in the Kimberley Process".

 

"It has a unique development mandate on the ground in Africa, one that no other development organization is tackling. DDI's work is important to my country, to artisanal diamond miners and to the communities in which they work. We are pleased to provide a small token of our support and confidence in what DDI is doing."

 

Meanwhile, Dorothée Gizenga, DDI's executive director, says, "I believe that African governments must be partners in helping to solve the problems we are addressing. I have long believed that funding for these projects should not come entirely from the North. To my very pleasant surprise, Angola, DRC and Guinea were the first to respond in a constructive and meaningful way. We hope and fully expect that others will join the lead that DRC and Angola have shown."

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