U.S. Public-private Alliance Sends Delegation to DRC to Seek Responsibly Sourced Minerals

The Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), a multi-sector initiative supporting the ethical production, trade, and sourcing of minerals from the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa (GLR), is conducting a delegation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to engage with key leaders and stakeholders and visit artisanal mine sites.

“In the United States, there is great interest in investing in the DRC and we hope this delegation visit stimulates further opportunities and partnerships. It is valuable to have so many of the world’s leading companies visit DRC to demonstrate our commitment to support the DRC to achieve peace and prosperity,” said the U.S. Ambassador Michael Hammer.

The PPA delegation will include meetings, mine site visits, and other activities in Kinshasa, Goma, Idjwi Island, and Bukavu in DRC. A key focus will be discussions with regional leaders and stakeholders about the importance of credible due diligence and traceability systems as a means to ensure that the minerals trade does not finance armed conflict or contribute to human rights abuses, including child labor and sexual and gender-based violence against women.

The PPA delegation will also assess needs and opportunities for progressive improvement of due diligence and chain of custody systems to enable responsible, international companies to source minerals from the DRC and the Great Lakes Region. To that end, PPA members look forward to hearing perspectives from the DRC government, minerals sector, and civil society representatives to learn about the following:

  • Progress and challenges of scaling up responsible mineral production and trade, including due diligence and traceability systems;
  • Artisanal and small-scale tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold production practices and conditions; and
  • Human rights impacts and opportunities to improve conditions for communities impacted by minerals production and trade.

Delegation discussions and activities will inform the PPA’s potential future grants, new partnerships, and numerous ongoing activities. After DRC, the PPA delegation will cross the border and head to Rwanda. The delegation consists of representatives from Google, Nokia, Intel, Apple, Global Advanced Metals, USAID, US Department of State, GIZ, the Responsible Business Alliance, RESOLVE, and Global Communities.

Public-Private Alliance Delegation Members’ Comments

“Google is pleased to be part of the PPA and pleased to join this important delegation. We look forward to meeting with regional leaders and stakeholders in person, and supporting conversations around all facets of responsible sourcing and collaboration,” noted Alyssa Newman from Google.

“Representatives from Intel’s Responsible Minerals Sourcing program are honored to join the PPA delegation to meet with critical industry and governing leaders in the DRC. We feel it is important to learn first-hand what our suppliers are experiencing in order to drive responsibility throughout the electronics supply chain,” noted Adam Schafer, Intel Corporation Director of Supply Chain Sustainability.

“We look forward to learning more about the challenges that upstream part of minerals supply chain is facing and how can we work with stakeholders to further improve the responsible minerals supply from the region, without compromising on human rights, whilst positively influencing local livelihoods,” said Elina Rääsk Nokia Sustainable Operations manager

“Apple is committed to treating the people in our supply chain with dignity and respect and protecting the planet we all share,” said Stacey May with Apple. “We look forward to learning from and working alongside mining community advocates, labor and human rights experts, and government leaders to further strengthen responsible minerals sourcing in the region and protect communities living in mining areas.”

About the Public-Private Alliance For Responsible Minerals Trade

The Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (www.pparmt.org) is a multi-sector initiative between leaders in civil society, industry, and government that supports projects in the DRC and the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa to improve the due diligence and governance systems needed for ethical supply chains. PPA-funded projects bring in-region benefits and complement government initiatives, with a focus on developing tools and building civil society capacity to support responsible minerals sourcing and trading. The PPA also convenes and facilitates dialogue with and among regional and international actors focused on aligning and scaling up responsible supply chain systems. The PPA has 42 member organizations, including companies (e.g., electronics, automobile, aerospace, jewelry, and minerals processor sectors), civil society organizations, USAID, US Department of State, US Department of Labor, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), and the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region.