Democratic Republic of Congo

Global Communities is currently implementing an initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with Fair Congo Sarl, IMPACT, and Levin Sources to establish a commercially viable, conflict-free artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) gold supply chain originating from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The five-year, $11.9 million program funded by USAID builds on recent successes achieved by donor-funded initiatives to export responsibly produced gold to jewelry buyers in North America and Europe.

Previous Programs

The town of Fungurume in southern Katanga Province of the DRC underwent phenomenal growth since Tenke Fungurume Mining (TFM) began developing a copper mine there in 2006. New migrants, attracted by the possibility of jobs and prospects of other opportunities, caused the population to grow from 50,000 to nearly 100,000. This rapid population growth has outpaced the town’s ability to plan for and accommodate this sudden change. The resulting urban growth is piecemeal and generally lacking in essential services such as water, electricity, and drainage, as well as social, economic and cultural facilities.

To assist in this process, TFM commissioned a long-term urbanization plan for the town and created a Social Fund to finance priority infrastructure needs. In order to facilitate community involvement and input in the planning process, TFM engaged Global Communities to develop a community-based Urban Development Committee. Global Communities established a consultative, participatory process involving all residents and stakeholders throughout the town to identify priority infrastructure needs consistent with the Urban Management Plan which met the criteria for funding by the Social Fund.  A team of community organizers and engineers supported by Global Communities worked with neighborhood groups established through this process to review urban infrastructure problems and propose solutions. 

The objectives of this initiative were: to increase the number of local organizations that can serve as effective partners with the local government in advancing the urban management plan; an improved sense of ownership for the urban development of Fungurume among community and government stakeholders; an increased willingness to contribute to maintenance and operations of infrastructure; an improved and more effective collaboration between the community and TFM in implementation of community-agreed infrastructure investments; and additional outside investment in the urban plan.