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DDI Initiative To Counter African Cross-Border Diamond Smuggling

The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) has launched a diamond anti-smuggling initiative for border communities in the Mano River Union region of West Africa. Participants of a workshop are being trained to create awareness and sensitise members of border communities about diamond smuggling.

The free flow of diamonds across borders is illegal, but unfortunately not everyone knows that fact. The significant artisanal diamond mining in these countries, most of it being informal, makes controlling production and trade of diamonds difficult, to the detriment of the national economies and potential development for the mining communities.

The first phase of the program involved a pilot project in Guinea. The pilot was a success with and now the initiative has evolved to the other countries of the Mano River Union region.

"It's exciting to see the kind of impact this initiative can have on reducing smuggling across border communities," added DDI Executive Director Dorothée Gizenga. "We're really looking forward to expanding the program to help the formalisation of the artisanal diamond economy."

The initiative was aided by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the sustainable development arm of the German government, and the European Union. It is part of the Kimberley Process Regional Approach to address common KP implementation issues in the region and strengthen enforcement.

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