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Development of a National Strategy for ASM in DRC and a National Action Plan for the ASM technical services (SAEMAPE, formerly SAESSCAM)

Development of a National Strategy for ASM in DRC and a National Action Plan for the ASM technical services (SAEMAPE, formerly SAESSCAM)

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Date: 2015 to 2017

Location: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Challenge: poor institutional performance

The mines administration of the Democratic Republic of the Congo demonstrated leadership in 2003 by creating SAESSCAM (now SAEMAPE) with a mandate to formalise the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector through a dual strategy of regulating and monitoring ASM operations and supporting the professional development of such operations.

However, a decade later, a review of SAESSCAM commissioned by PROMINES (Projet de Bonne Gouvernance dans le Secteur Minier comme Facteur de Croissance en République Démocratique du Congo) demonstrated significant shortcomings related to the fulfillment of this mandate. The assessment concluded that SAESSCAM’s focus on revenue collection and limited-to-no-investment in more substantive measures to formalise and support the sector had failed to win the trust of ASMs and had done little to help improve the productivity and development of the sector. Institutional underperformance was further compounded by overlapping institutional mandates within the mining administration and challenges associated with funding of provincial and local offices.

Solution: an end-to-end capacity-building programme

In 2015, working in partnership with Pact and International Peace Information Service, Levin Sources was hired by PROMINES to support the government of the DRC to improve the governance of the ASM sector, with a focus on improved institutional performance and accountability.

The project assisted the government to develop a high-level national strategy for the formalisation of the ASM sector. It also created a concrete action plan for the ASM mining technical services (SAEMAPE, formerly SAESSCAM) and put in place a digitised system of mine site data capture and storage to monitor production and tax receipts.

Levin Sources was responsible for:

  1. Hosting a series of workshops with the Ministry of Mines to determine the strategic orientation of the project and the sector more widely.
  2. Consolidating the outputs and drafting a national strategy based on this and international best practice.
  3. Designing and conducting an organisational capacity assessment / self-assessment of SAESSCAM in South-East and Central DRC (5 provinces).
  4. Working with SAESSCAM to develop a detailed action plan to:
    1. support ASM producers and communities,
    2. improve administrative and financial management,
    3. build the capacity of SAESSCAM in key technical areas (policy and legal framework, mining methods, environmental management etc.), and
    4. improve long term planning and the internal monitoring and evaluation of performance.
  5. Conducting initial capacity development workshops with SAESSCAM on organisational health and safety management at the mine site.
  6. Evaluating the performance of SAESSCAM in providing support to ASM after the initial training.

Results: a better-supported sector

The project was recognised as one of the major successes of the PROMINES programme, out-performing its modest budget. The evaluation at the end of the project demonstrated that not only was SAESSCAM better equipped to support the ASM sector with enhanced technical knowledge and improved planning and coordination of activities, but that ASMs who received assistance through pilot support projects recognised the valuable role SAESSCAM could play in the long-term formalisation of the sector.

Photo for illustration purposes only. Rwangara tourmaline mine, DRC 2015 by Angela Jornes.

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