Project Supports A More Responsible Artisanal Gold Sector in Burkina Faso

Foundations for Peace promotes financial inclusion in artisanal gold mining communities and builds capacity of stakeholders to support the legal gold trade

February 25, 2022—Ouagadougou/Ottawa

IMPACT, in partnership with Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), is launching a project to build peace in artisanal gold mining communities in Burkina Faso.

The Foundations for Peace in the Artisanal Gold Mining Sector in Burkina Faso project aims to support a more responsible artisanal gold sector in the country, while increasing security in mining communities. The project will build peace by promoting women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion in artisanal gold mining communities. At the same time, it will build the capacity of local stakeholders to challenge illicit trade and incentivize the legal trade of artisanal gold.

The inaugural workshop in Burkina Faso’s capital city, Ouagadougou, on February 25, 2022 has brought together the mining governance authorities, the technical services of the mining administration, supply chain actors, civil society, private sector representatives, as well as technical and financial partners to introduce key themes in the project. The meeting also provides an opportunity for consultation with participants on the key themes related to the project. These discussions will serve to compile a technical brief with recommendations aimed at contributing to the promotion of a more responsible artisanal gold sector in the country.

“As part of the Foundations of Peace project, we will work with the national and local authorities to identify the drivers of illicit trade and build their capacity to incentivize legality—ultimately creating an enabling environment for legal gold trade,” said Joanne Lebert, IMPACT’s Executive Director.

According to Désiré Nikiema, National Coordinator of the Alliance for Responsible Mining in Burkina Faso, “The project helps to develop synergies of actions between partners in order to restore the artisanal and small-scale mining landscape by contributing to responsible supply chains. It also contributes to increasing the capacity of artisanal miners to develop internal savings mechanisms to finance their activities and all this contributes to improving the living conditions of beneficiary mining communities.”

IMPACT previous research and projects has demonstrated that economic security is a necessary step in formalizing the artisanal gold mining sector, and is a condition for sustainable development and peacebuilding.

On the ground, ARM will support community-led financial services across six mine sites in the Centre Ouest and Centre Nord regions. The project will support the introduction of Village Savings and Loan’s Associations to enhance financial inclusion, and to contribute to equitable peace and development.

“Through this project, artisanal gold mining communities will be supported to access savings and credit in a context that lacks basic financial services. Our past experience has shown that the introduction of financial services safely lessens miners’ dependence on predatory lenders of financing, as well as fosters their social cohesion,” added Lebert.

The Foundations for Peace project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada.

Read more about the Foundations for Peace project here: https://impacttransform.org/en/work/project/foundations-for-peace/

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Media Contact:

In Burkina Faso:

Brice Kevin DA

Chargé de communications, ARM

bricekevinda@minesresponsables.org

Zuzia Danielski
Communications Director, IMPACT
zdanielski@impacttransform.org

IMPACT, formerly Partnership Africa Canada, transforms how natural resources are managed in areas where security and human rights are at risk. We investigate and develop approaches for natural resources to improve security, development, and equality. We are an independent non-profit collaborating with local partners for lasting change. www.impacttransform.org

The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), is a global initiative that was born in 2004, with the objective of transforming artisanal and small-scale mining into a socially and environmentally responsible activity that improves the quality of life of artisanal miners and their communities. www.minesresponsables.org