Jeweller Completes First Export of Responsible & Conflict-Free Artisanal Gold from Eastern Congo to Canada

Partnership Africa Canada (www.PACweb.org) and Fair Trade Jewellery Co. today announce the first export of conflict-free and traceable artisanal gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Canada.

The milestone comes a month after Partnership Africa Canada announced the Just Gold project had implemented a system to trace legal and conflict-free artisanal gold in DRC, with a proven chain of custody from mine site to exporter.

Fair Trade Jewellery Co., a Toronto-based pioneer in ethical sourcing, sustainability and retail, imported 238 grams in three gold doré bars to Canada.

Within days, the Toronto team refined, alloyed and designed four responsibly-mined and conflict-free artisanal gold rings. Each ring has been engraved with a lot number, which traces it to a specific mine site in the DRC’s Ituri Province, where the gold originated.

“Sourcing from Congo was a new and exceptionally ambitious process, but one to which our organization is committed to and capable of achieving thanks to partners on the ground, like Partnership Africa Canada,” said Robin Gambhir, Fair Trade Jewellery Co. co-founder.

“After more than a decade of ensuring that our materials are responsibly-sourced, we’re delighted to add Just Gold to the gold options we currently offer our clients. Ensuring we source fully traceable materials directly from communities is a way to foster community development, and as a company—deepen our impact on many stakeholders,” added Gambhir.

Partnership Africa Canada began the Just Gold project as a pilot in 2015 in Ituri Province. The project creates incentives for artisanal gold miners to channel their product to legal exporters—and eventually responsible consumers—by offering fair and transparent pricing and by providing capacity-building, such as technical assistance to miners in return for legal sales. Miners are taught better exploitation techniques and are offered Just Gold project equipment. In return, gold they produce must be tracked and sold through legal channels.

Today, the project has over 600 miners registered across six sites.

As the project moves out of its pilot phase with a proven chain of custody from mine site to the exporter in DRC, Fair Trade Jewellery Co.’s move to import the gold is an important next step. The jeweller also collaborates with its sister company, Toronto-based software startup Consensas, to trace the gold from export to consumer.

“This export from Bunia, DRC to Toronto proved that it is possible to bring Canadian and international consumers traced conflict-free Congolese artisanal gold. What is particularly exciting is that we have shown that every gram of gold can be accompanied by reliable quantitative and qualitative data about its provenance and the actors involved in its extraction, production and trade,” said Joanne Lebert, Partnership Africa Canada’s Executive Director.

“Saying that it is impossible to carry out due diligence on gold supply chains is no longer a valid argument for industry. We have proven otherwise,” said Lebert.

Challenges faced during this export included high export taxes, transportation restrictions, and burdensome paperwork, will be used by Partnership Africa Canada to call on the Congolese government to create more favourable conditions for legal trade and responsible investment.

Funding for the Just Gold project is provided to Partnership Africa Canada by Global Affairs Canada, with additional funding by USAID through the Capacity Building for Responsible Minerals Trade (CBRMT) project and International Organization for Migration.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Partnership Africa Canada (PAC).

Media Contacts:
Brooke Ward
Communications Assistant, Partnership Africa Canada
BWard@PACweb.org
+1 613 237 6768 ext 28

Zuzia Danielski
Communications Director, Partnership Africa Canada
+1 613 263 0661

Robin Gambhir
Co-Founder, Fair Trade Jewellery Co.
Robin@FTJCo.com
+1 647 430 8741

About Partnership Africa Canada (PAC):
Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) (www.PACweb.org) is a global leader in developing innovative approaches to strengthen natural resource governance in conflict and high-risk areas. For 30 years, PAC has collaborated with partners to promote policy dialogue and capacity-building—including through the establishment of the Kimberley Process, which earned PAC a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2003.

The Fair Trade Jewellery (FTJCo) company is a world leader and innovator in traceable metals, diamonds and gems. Since 2006, the company has set the standard for traceable jewellery, achieving many firsts including being the first jeweller to offer Fairtrade and later Fairmined gold to North America. The company designs and manufactures its products in Toronto with certifications from the Responsible Jewellery Council, Fairtrade, and Fairmined.

Source:: Jeweller Completes First Export of Responsible & Conflict-Free Artisanal Gold from Eastern Congo to Canada

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Central African Republic: Red Cross condemns killing of volunteer in Bangassou

The Central African Red Cross Society (CARCS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) condemn the brutal killing of a Red Cross volunteer in the town of Bangassou over the weekend.

Joachim Ali was killed by an unidentified armed group on the evening of 23 June while on duty at the Red Cross compound.

We are in a very sombre mood following the death of Joachim Ali. He was a young, brave man. He was committed and dedicated to his work,” said Antoine Mbao-Bogo, the President of CARCS. “We remind all parties that the role of the Red Cross is to help all people in need – regardless of faith or affiliation. We are in mourning, but our commitment is unwavering.

The security situation in the Central African Republic has steadily deteriorated in recent months. Fighting in Bangassou, as well as in the towns of Bria and Alindao has displaced more than 100,000 people in the past weeks. There are now more than 500,000 people displaced across CAR, along with an estimated 450,000 who have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries.

The Central African Red Cross has been a voice of reason and calm throughout this conflict,” said IFRC Secretary General, Elhadj As Sy. “We call on all parties to respect the neutrality and impartiality of the Red Cross, and to do all they can to facilitate their access to people in need.

We extend our sincerest condolences to Mr Ali’s family, and to his dedicated Red Cross colleagues,” said Mr Sy.

Since the beginning of 2017, at least 19 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Society volunteers and staff have been killed in the line of duty around the world.

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

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“How can Nigeria continue to dance on the graves of our children”, Oby Ezekwesili debuts in first episode of Forbes Woman Africa, Against The Odds with Peace Hyde

The highly anticipated women empowerment show, Against The Odds with Peace Hyde is set to premier on Friday June 30th 2017 on Pan African Business Channel CNBC Africa Channel 410 on DSTV.

The show is the latest installment from Forbes Woman Africa (www.ForbesAfrica.com) depicting the journey of some of the most influential women in West and South Africa who have achieved remarkable feats whiles defying the odds.

In the first episode, Oby Ezekwesili, creator of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign talks about her harrowing experience in fighting corruption in Nigeria from her early days as the co founder of Transparency International to the shock and horror of finding out about the abduction of over 270 girls in Chibok, Borno State, Nigeria.

Watch the promo: http://APO.af/FsLa7x.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Forbes Woman Africa.

Media contact:
Frederic Van de vyver
Executive Director: West Africa – CNBC Africa / Forbes Africa
M: +234 806 304 0692
Email: Frederic.Vandevyver@abn360.com

Source:: “How can Nigeria continue to dance on the graves of our children”, Oby Ezekwesili debuts in first episode of Forbes Woman Africa, Against The Odds with Peace Hyde

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WHO AFRO to host the inaugural Africa Health Forum in Kigali, Rwanda

For the first time, WHO’s Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) is convening a meeting of global leaders and thinkers to explore Africa’s healthcare priorities and challenges and find new ways to achieve better health for all. The Africa Health Forum will take place in Kigali, Rwanda on 27 and 28 June 2017.
Organised under the theme: “Putting People First: The Road to Universal Health Coverage in Africa”, the event will provide a platform to forge new partnerships for delivering Universal Health Coverage (UHC), a mechanism for improving access to quality, affordable healthcare for all, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said that the Forum provides a unique opportunity for its partners. “Health is at the heart of the SDGs, and is critical for better quality of life. AFRO is committed to working with countries and partners to attain the highest possible level of health for Africa’s people. This forum will help pave the way to attain UHC across the continent. We are convinced that together, we can do more to save lives and achieve a prosperous and sustainable future for all.”
Experts from a wide range of backgrounds will speak at the WHO Africa Health Forum, including academics, government representatives, the private sector and youth organisations.
  • Themes to be covered at the two-day event will include:
  • Health financing;
  • Health security;
  • Health research, innovation and data;
  • UHC and the private sector in Africa;
  • Old enemies such as HIV and the rise of new threats such as non-communicable diseases.
There will also be special sessions on e-health and its role in Africa and the health of young people.
To register to attend the event, please visit http://AfricaHealthForum.afro.who.int.

Distributed by APO on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).

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