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Dear <<First Name>>,

As the Zahabu Safi programme enters its third year, we wanted to provide an update on our deepening engagement with the government of the DRC.

Last month, members of the Zahabu Safi team travelled to Kinshasa to hold meetings with key government institutions, including the Cellule Technique de Coordination et de Planification Minière (CTCPM) and to finalize the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Centre d'Evaluation, d'Expertise et de Certification (CEEC) on behalf of the project. The trip culminated with agreed terms for the soon-to-be-signed MOU and a two-day work session with over 35 experts, representing both public and private institutions, to discuss the challenges and opportunities for reform in the DRC’s ASM gold sector.  
The MOU sets out Zahabu Safi’s support in the implementation of ITOA and the shared objectives of strengthening the responsible gold trade from eastern DRC.  It underlines the commitment of the government and the aim of working in partnership which is at the centre of the project’s objectives.
In this newsletter we’re also updating you on:
  • The second meeting of the refiners’ community of practice
  • Upcoming engagement with European jewelers
  • Watch out for the Responsible Gold Innovation Fund, coming soon
  • The impacts of COVID-19 on ASM gold communities in Eastern DRC
New here? Scroll down to the bottom of this email for background information.
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Refiners’ community of practice second meeting
The refiners’ Community of Practice hosted by Levin Sources met for the second time on October 13. Participants were joined by Better Chain and RCS Global Upstream, the project’s due diligence partners.  They heard about the process the project uses to select partner sites and about the different due diligence approaches currently being trialled. All had a chance to ask questions and give their feedback.  The next meeting with be in early December. Watch out for our upcoming newsletters for updates.
Meet our due diligence partners
Collaboration with partner ASM sites
Through an evidence-based selection process, we have now identified six mining sites where we will begin to work, in Kalehe (South Kivu), Irumu and Djugu (Ituri). At these locations, the Zahabu Safi project will provide support to around 3 500 artisanal miners.  We are also in active discussions with three industrial mining operators to support ASM formalization on and around their sites; access to responsible international markets; and community and livelihoods development.
Learn more about the selection process
Engaging European jewelers
From November to January, we'll gather additional insights from jewelers with a view to establishing responsible ASM gold supply chains to the market.  This builds on our recent outreach to the US market (see last month’s newsletter).  We are focused on continuing conversations with the European jewelers we spoke to last year, but are keen to widen our engagement with any others who are interested to share their experience. 
Contact us for more information
Coming soon: The Responsible Gold Innovation Fund (RGIF)
Recognising catalytic grants, private sector partnerships and strategic investments can all play a role in creating a sustainable value chain, the Zahabu Safi project is establishing a $1 million Responsible Gold Innovation Fund (RGIF).
The RGIF will incentivize and facilitate private sector investment in new supply chain models for responsible gold originating from the DRC and pilot new approaches to overcome specific identified barriers in scaling the export of responsible artisanal gold from the country.  The fund will prioritize grants that support supply chain actors in their responsible business practices, opportunities for general co-investment to promote commercial viability of project supporting supply chains, and economic development in ASM communities. As a USAID-funded initiative, the RGIF will be subject to the same laws and restrictions on scope and use cases of funding as all USAID initiatives. 
Look our for the link to the RFA in an upcoming newsletter.
Find out more
COVID-19 and ASM gold communities: an update from Eastern DRC
Food insecurity and fraudulent gold exports have increased since the beginning of COVID-19, while production volumes have decreased in Eastern DRC, according to Levin Sources’ latest report.
Read now
What is the Zahabu Safi Project?
Thank you for subscribing to the Commercially Viable Conflict-Free Gold project monthly newsletter. Launched in December 2018, the Zahabu Safi project is a five-year, $11.9 million project that builds on recent successes achieved by donor-funded initiatives to export responsibly-produced gold to jewelry buyers in North America and Europe.  The overall goal of the project is to establish a viable, conflict-free, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) gold supply chain originating from eastern DRC.

Zahabu Safi is being implemented by Global Communities in partnership with Levin Sources and in collaboration with Better Chain and RCS Global Upstream Ltd.  We work closely with the Congolese government and are developing partnerships along the length of the supply chain with cooperatives and exporters, refiners and  downstream buyers of gold, especially in the jewelry and tech sectors.  We aim to increase investment in the responsible gold supply chain with a view to making it commercially viable once the project funding has ended.

The project's three primary objectives are:
  1. To increase demand for and co-investment in conflict-free, traceable, responsible ASM gold from eastern DRC.
  2. To increase exports of conflict-free, traceable, responsible ASM gold from eastern DRC.
  3. To improve the commercial viability of ASM gold cooperatives.
Find out more
We want to engage with all actors in the supply chain…

You can catch up on previous issues of this newsletter here. If you have colleagues or acquaintances who you think could be interested, you can forward them the sign-up form here.
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