The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development II (PRADD II) project supports governments in implementing mining best practices in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, and promotes good governance of the mining sector at the international level through the Kimberley Process (KP), the international mechanism that prevents rough diamonds from fueling conflict. The program—a $19-million, five-year joint USAID/European Union (EU) initiative—is a follow-on project to PRADD, USAID’s former flagship mining project that was implemented from 2007 to 2013 across Central African Republic, Guinea, and Liberia.
The objective of PRADD II is to increase the number of alluvial diamonds entering the formal chain of custody, while improving the benefits accruing to diamond-mining communities. Artisanal miners labor under archaic and difficult working conditions and live in extreme poverty, often receiving less than nine percent of the retail price of the stones they extract. Poverty prevents miners from acquiring the licenses required to operate within the law, the equipment necessary to increase their gains, and the assets needed to diversify their livelihoods. Not surprisingly, miners often become incentivized to mine quickly, sell fast, and quickly move on to new sites. These practices have devastating economic and environmental consequences, negatively impact export revenues, and prevent compliance with the Kimberley Process.