“With the new mining code putting the emphasis on inclusive community development projects, it is important that organizations working with or representing the different communities participate to an event like DRC Mining Week” says Sarah Moser, project coordinator at the BUMI non-profit in the DRC focused on helping orphaned and vulnerable children.
BUMI is the project of choice as social responsibility outreach programme for DRC Mining Week exhibition and conference that is taking place in Lubumbashi from 19-21 June.
Sarah adds moreover that “the issue of child labour in the sector is still relevant despite the efforts of most conventional mining companies. It is therefore important to show that solutions and alternatives are possible, as soon as public, private and social actors work together.”
More than 3500 international mining experts and local stakeholders from more than 50 countries are expected to attend this iconic exhibition and conference, which is celebrating 15 years of gathering the mining community in the country. Five country pavilions, from France, Germany, South Africa, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe, are part of the exhibition.
Synergies between mining and social projects
BUMI’s Sarah Moser believes that not enough is made to create synergies between mining companies and organizations working on social projects, community development or education.
She explains: “mining companies could benefit from partnerships with grassroots organizations like ours, who have knowledge and experience. But they are often reluctant because of lack of trust, communication and cultural differences.
"Therefore many companies decide to implement themselves their CSR projects or to contract ad hoc agencies. By doing so, they can have a direct control of the costs and outcome but this strategy can make the impact less sustainable. In fact, I have seen several projects abandoned because the site was closed or the management was changed.”
Last year DRC Mining Week launched a new partnership with BUMI with the aim of raising awareness of the various actors of the mining sector on the protection of vulnerable children, investment in youth education and support to communities.
“This is a very exciting project,” says Moser, ”as we learn about policies and strategies implemented by the mining companies and their sub-contractors, and we share with them our knowledge and expertise, while identifying together how they can increase their social impact in a sustainable way.
"We are happy to see that more and more companies are becoming aware of their responsibility and implement social projects, not only to comply with the regulations (i.e. min. 0,3% of revenue for contribution to development projects) but also because they value social investments.”
She says BUMI has since benefited from this partnership and exposure in various ways, including “in mid-2018, just after the DRC Mining Week, Rubamin SARL offered a drinking water well to the children of BUMI.
At the end of the year we also launched a new partnership with Katanga Contracting Service / KCS to improve the care of orphaned and abandoned children at our Children’s Village. Other mining sub-contractors have also joined forces to improve the living conditions of the children we serve.”
The full interview with BUMI’s Sarah Moser can be viewed here.
DRC Mining Week is organised by Spintelligent, a leading Cape Town-based and multi-award winning organiser of exhibitions and conferences across the continent in the infrastructure, energy, mining and agriculture sectors.
Other well-known events by Spintelligent include African Utility Week, Agritech Expo Zambia, Nigeria Mining Week, Future Energy East Africa, Future Energy Nigeria and the East & Central Africa Mining Forum. Spintelligent is part of the UK-based Clarion Events Group.
DRC Mining Week:
Site visit: 18 June 2019
Pre-conference Power Focus Day: 19 June 2019
Expo and conference: 19-21 June 2019
Location: The Pullman Grand Karavia Hotel, Lubumbashi, DRC
Senior communications manager: Annemarie Roodbol
Office: +27 21 700 3558