Pact and GIA (Gemological Institute of America) are giving artisanal women miners in Tanzania valuable knowledge and information that is improving their economic development opportunities.
Pact and GIA recently launched a pilot study to test a new rough gem guide. The guide was developed specifically to give basic gemological and market knowledge to artisanal miners in gem-producing regions. The illustrated booklet, available in English and Tanzanian Swahili, was distributed at no cost, along with training, to approximately 45 women miners in the Tanga region of Tanzania in January.
Entitled Selecting Gem Rough: A Guide for Artisanal Miners, it was developed by a team of GIA gemology, market, education and design staff working in consultation with colored gemstone experts with extensive experience buying gems in rural areas.
All costs for the pilot – approximately $120,000 – were paid from the GIA endowment fund.
"Pact has worked with diverse mining communities throughout Africa for more than 15 years,” said Cristina Villegas, Pact's technical program manager for its signature Mines to Markets program. "There is often a huge knowledge differential between the artisanal miners who work tirelessly to produce the world's most beautiful stones, and those later down the supply chain. This new tool developed by the experts at GIA will help miners in rural areas better understand the quality and value of their products, which will help reduce their vulnerability in the supply chain, improve their economic development opportunities and empower the miners through gem education."
Read more on GIA's website here.