During the recent “Open for Growth: Trade, Tax and Transparency” event preceding this week’s G8 summit in Northern Ireland, the United States and Guinea announced a partnership focused on supporting transparency in extractive industries. Transparent management of Guinea’s mining sector – which accounts for 95 percent of the country’s exports – is essential for the nation’s long-term economic growth and sustainable development.
The partnership will focus on supporting Guinea to enhance its compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and adopt principles outlined in the recently adopted Washington Declaration. USAID will build off of its prior investment in the Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD) project and work with the Guinean Ministry of Mines and Geology to clarify and strengthen the property rights of artisanal miners. Through strengthened property rights and improved tracking of diamonds from mine site to export, the diamond industry will achieve greater transparency, resulting in a greater number of diamonds entering the formal sector and ensuring that the Government of Guinea benefits from taxes.
Additionally, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Ministry of Mines and Geology will continue to collaborate in an effort to better define the production capacity of the alluvial diamond sector and develop local ability to measure and analyze rough diamond production capacity. Developing greater understanding of market potential will ensure increased transparency as well as better monitoring and enforcement of the KPCS.
While enforcement of the KPCS has lagged in recent years, with rough diamond exports more than double the estimated carat production capacity, the Government of Guinea has made a renewed commitment to transparency in the extractive industries, as demonstrated by their recently launched public database detailing all national mining contracts.
Frank Pichel, USAID Land Tenure and Property Rights Specialist, said “USAID is excited to restart PRADD activities in Guinea, a sentiment echoed by the Guinean delegation at the recent Kimberley Process Intercessional in Kimberley, South Africa.”