Thanks to a grant from Signet Jewelers, the Diamond Development Initiative will run the technical support function of the Kimberley Process.
The government of Ghana had previously handled that function, which is part of the recently installed KP administrative-support mechanism, but decided it that was no longer feasible after a personnel change.
The function finds help for countries that are having difficulty fulfilling the certification scheme’s requirements. But the DDI wants to take it beyond that, explains DDI executive director Dorothée Gizenga.
“In the past what would happen is a message would be sent to all participants,” she says. “But there was no follow-up of brokering. Countries would get frustrated. They would put their requests in and nothing happened. We will be the central body to receive the requests and send them out and check the status of their implementations.”
DDI is well suited for this role, since many of the countries that request help have a heavy artisanal mining component.
“We understand the issues,” Gizenga says. “We know the players.”
In a statement, Signet CEO Mark Light called the project an “excellent match for us.”
“The Kimberley Process can and should be about more than regulation,” he said. ”It must also add value to diamonds and to the communities and countries where they are mined and polished.”