STRATEGIES! had the privilege to facilitate the 2016 Planning Workshop for the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Democracy and Good Governance (DGG) Program in Kenya. The DGG team and their partners from GIZ, OECD, USAID, PAC, BGR, UNDP and more were gathered in Nairobi from October 12th to 16th to plan for improved natural resource management, strengthening the rule of law as well as democratization and good governance in the 12 member states* of the Great Lakes Region.

During the 5-day workshop, the DGG Team and its partners outlined the achievements and lessons learnt of 2015 and defined objectives as well as key activities for 2016. A special focus was on Regional Initiative against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources (RINR) through which, the ICGLR-DGG program is working to put an end to the destructive use of natural resources and to build transparency, traceability and accountability into the mining value chain in the region.

The Great Lakes Region is mineral-rich and disposes of a substantial amount of minerals which are in great demand on the global market. However, so far, the abundance of minerals in the region has not resulted in economic well-being for its citizens.  This is what the ICGLR and its DGG Program seek to bring solutions to.

The RINR was launched in 2009, following the 2006 Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region.  It was followed by the Protocol on the Fight against the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources signed in 2010 which outlines the actions Member States have to take and provides the legal basis for the implementation of the RINR.

The RINR has achieved some remarkable successes so far in its fight against the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Great Lakes Region.  It is currently in the process of putting in place a Regional Certification Mechanism (RCM), a regional database, assisting states to formalize artisanal mining and mainstream gender throughout the process. The six tools of the RINR are key to enabling  Member States translate the Great Lakes Region’s wealth in mineral resources from a source of corruption, instability and conflict to a catalyst for jobs, economic growth and well-being for the citizens of the region.

STRATEGIES! is proud to have been providing support for organizational development and strategic planning for the ICGLR since 2008 .

*Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia