The USAID AMPR project entered into force on September 28, 2018 through the signature of the contract between Tetra Tech and USAID Washington. For purposes of work planning and project implementation, the Annual Work Plan cycle is from October 1 – September 31st of each year. For this Quarterly Progress Report, the reporting period is from September 28 – December 31, 2018.
The project commenced with an Inception Phase focused on various launch events and work planning activities. This consisted of initial meetings in early October in Washington DC with the CO and the COR. The project start-up activities this quarter were focused primarily around preparing the Work Plan for October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019 (hereafter Year 1 Work Plan). Following project launching activities with USAID in Washington DC in mid-October 2018, the project hired its core technical staff as short-term consultants. These staff members were primarily those from PRADD II in the Central African Republic. Temporary offices were loaned out by the Kimberley Process Permanent Secretariat for the first two months until new office space was located and a lease agreement signed.
In early November, a week-long work planning session was held in Bangui, the Central African Republic. The project brought to Bangui the Project Manager, the Senior Advisor, the Chief of Party and Director of Administration designates, and a consultant, resource person, Mr. Armel Nganzi. During the week of November 6-12, the technical team developed the programmatic orientations spelled out in the sections below. A two-day workshop was held with Ministry of Mines and Geology and Ministry of Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation senior staff to review the USAID AMPR contract with Tetra Tech, but then to propose specific programmatic orientations for the project. During the second day of the workshop, the specific activities spelled out below were validated by this inter-ministerial workshop. Civil society organizations were also invited to participate in the second day of the workshop.
During the week of November 26-30, 2018 two formal Launch Events were held in Bangui. The project was introduced initially on November 28th to the top-level Ministry of Mines and Geology and the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation staff, the US Embassy, the diplomatic corps, and representatives of major multilateral and bilateral development organizations. The USAID COR for USAID AMPR attended these launch events. A protocol agreement was signed between the Minister of Mines and Geology and the Tetra Tech Project Manager for the USAID AMPR project. On November 29th, a similar session was held with mid-level ministerial staff, representatives of civil society, and representatives of Buying Houses.
For the rest of the month of December, the USAID AMPR project core team of consultants focused on preparing a lexicon of key terms used in the artisanal mining sector in French, Sango, and English. In addition, the team began the process of identifying videos from the PRADD II project in Côte d’Ivoire useful for translation into Sango. The administrative team advanced with the complex process of registering Tetra Tech in the Central African Republic, renting out a new office, and purchasing office equipment and supplies. At the time of writing this Quarterly Report, the COP and Director of Finance and Administration had arrived in Bangui on the weekend of January 5th and quickly began work.