The diamond sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The devastation is felt across the supply chain, not the least in various African countries that depend on this precious mineral in their socio-economic development. To curb the spread of Covid-19, countries announced wide-ranging measures. Borders were closed across the continent for travel, with the movement of goods delayed at best. Interurban and intercity movements were banned in most countries. Lockdown measures were imposed, ranging from complete shutdowns to various restrictions on the movement of people and operation of businesses. Mining, as an essential industry for domestic resource mobilization, was mostly exempted from lockdown regulations, albeit subject to specific sanitary and distancing measures.
While the impact of Covid-19 on mid- and downstream businesses has been rather well documented, much less is known about how this has affected African communities affected by diamond mining. In this light, the Kimberly Process Civil Society Coalition (KPCSC) has been assessing the situation on the level of various communities during Covid-19 lockdown measures. This report outlines the main findings of this assessment in seven African countries: Zimbabwe, Guinea, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The CSC will organise a webinar on July 6 at 4 pm Central Africa Time (CAT) to discuss the findings of this report and explore what can be done to address the challenges posed by the pandemic. More information will follow soon.