Toward a successful localization of the ITSCI Programme’s implementation in Africa’s Great Lakes Region

September 11, 2023
Artisanal and small-scale miners in Rwanda examine minerals at an ITSCI Programme site. Credit: Eddie Byrd/Pact.

The ITSCI Programme and Pact are pleased to announce an important step in the full engagement of locally based organizations in delivery of field implementation activities. 

Since 2010, the ITSCI Programme and Pact have been partnering on implementation in Africa’s Great Lakes Region. As part of that work, ITSCI has maintained a core objective to train and empower local partners and, through Pact, has worked to achieve the vision of supporting and enhancing local ownership of the Programme. 

Throughout the years, Pact has played an important role in building local capacity and expertise in management of ITSCI field activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. Over time, Pact has supported the transfer of day-to-day activities to local organizations, and for a number of years, the large majority of ITSCI staff in the region have been employed and managed by local organizations. 

Now, after more than 10 years of successful progress, Pact and ITSCI believe that local management teams have the ability and expertise to lead and deliver the implementation of ITSCI on the ground. Both Pact and ITSCI share the vision of enhancing local ownership and are transitioning all local ITSCI implementation activities by Pact to a local nonprofit organization, Kumbuka Afrika. 

Localization is considered good practice in the international development community and is central to Pact’s mission of enabling locally led development. It capitalizes on in-region teams’ understanding and knowledge of local context and builds on their trusted relationships developed over the years with multiple stakeholders, including governments, companies and communities. 

ITSCI and Pact are in full agreement that this is the right way forward for ITSCI and have worked together to facilitate the transition. Together we are pleased to announce that beginning October 1, 2023, activities of the ITSCI Programme in Africa’s Great Lakes Region will be managed by Kumbuka Afrika, under the leadership of Yves Bawa, an expert in the artisanal and small-scale mining sector and former artisanal miner.

Kumbuka Afrika will continue to work with existing local field teams and in cooperation with national governments in-region, who have expressed their support and ongoing collaboration moving forward. 

The implementation of the ITSCI Programme, including field activities in Africa’s Great Lakes Region, continues in all areas as usual, without any interruption, using the same OECD-aligned standards. ITSCI remains fully committed to supporting responsible mining and sourcing practices for tin, tantalum and tungsten minerals. Pact, a recognized leader in responsible mining, will continue to implement a range of activities in support of artisanal miners and mining communities in Africa’s Great Lakes region and beyond, and remains committed to making ASM safer, formal and more productive.