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Civil Society Views on Diamond Mining and Trade

Presentation at the African Diamond Producers Association meeting

06 April 2022

Minister of Mines and Mining Development- Hon Winston Chitando

Deputy Minister- Hon Polite Kambamura

Permanent Secretary – Mr. Onesimo Mazai

Honorable Ministers from different African Countries here present

All protocol observed

Ladies and gentlemen; My name is Joyce Nyamukunda. I am with the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association.

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) seeks to promote good governance and management of natural resources in Southern Africa. ZELA is a member of the Kimberly Process Civil Society Coalition (KPCSC) together with four other organisations here present (Centre for Natural Resource Governance, Maluti Community Development Forum from Lesotho, and Botswana Watch from Botswana). Through the KPCSC, we strive to improve good governance and management of diamond mining in Africa. Allow me to present to you the key 10 points on our views on diamond mining and trade in Africa.

1. Lack of community development: Diamond mining has not led to tangible development for communities hosting diamond mining. There is considerable externalization of natural capital from the communities to big cities, leaving local economies poorer. There is need for African Governments to come up with local community development policies for diamond mining companies.

2. Human Rights Situation: The term Human Rights remains taboo in most African countries, yet the flashes of abuses are recurring. Community members and artisanal miners continue to suffer abuse and their plight across the continent is ignored. There is need for African governments to come up with holistic measures to guarantee the dignity of these vulnerable sections of the diamond sector. Communities are important because they are the moral authority for any country’s diamonds.

3. Companies in Africa need to seriously consider adopting responsible sourcing standards that allow them to implement due diligence measures to identify risks/impacts of human rights, environmental crimes, labour issues and community needs; and take measures to address them. African governments should consider adopting legislative measures on responsible sourcing. The starting point is the system of warranties in the KP Core document which is being implemented by WDC. There is also the Administrative Decision on Principles on Responsible Sourcing adopted in 2021. These should be adopted at national level by companies in Zimbabwe. We commend the efforts by ZCDC to implement the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) standards and RZM Murowa for being a member of the Natural Diamond Council.

4. Criminalisation of Artisanal Diamond Mining: Artisanal diamond mining is largely criminalized in most African states. Artisanal diamond mining should be promoted and legalized in some countries so that communities benefit from the mineral resources found in their localities.

5. There is lack of grievance redress mechanisms: These must be employed by mining companies in their areas of operation. Here in Zimbabwe, commendably, Anjin has started dialogue with the community.

6. Reluctancy to react to the emergence of Synthetic Diamonds. Synthetic diamonds or lab grown diamonds will damage economies and deprive communities in natural diamond mining areas of development. African states need to look at ethical concerns or human rights issues being raised and take measures to address them accordingly through national legislation and upholding of human rights standards. African states will lose out if the issues are not addressed. Millennial consumers want to buy diamond products sourced from areas without conflict, human rights violations or environmental damage or unfair labour standards.

7. Inaudible ADPA voice within the KP Family: ADPA should start to participate in KP meetings and events including research to advise and inform African states on emerging threats to the diamond sector

8. Lack of regional approach to responsible sourcing: It’s time African diamond mining companies and countries establish a regional approach focusing on responsible sourcing of diamonds. This can enhance information sharing, cooperation and building a good brand of diamonds from African countries.

10. Reluctancy to join EITI: Most African countries are not members of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. We would like to encourage African Countries that have not joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative to join it for the good governance of mineral resources. EITI seeks to address key governance issues in the extractive sector, or domesticate the standards such as Revenue Transparency, Contract Disclosure, Beneficial Ownership. Already, Zimbabwe through the new companies and other businesses act has put in place a beneficial ownership register).

1. In conclusion, we encourage African countries to domesticate the Africa Mining Vision created in 2009 by developing country mining visions to ensure that Africa utilizes its mineral resources strategically for broad-based, inclusive development.

Thank You!

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