International Women’s Day: Partnership Africa Canada Announces Women-Led Microcredit Project

AFECCOR will provide microcredit and savings services to Just Gold pilot project participants,  while creating economic opportunities for women in the artisanal gold sector

March 8 2017—Ottawa, Canada

Partnership Africa Canada is excited to mark International Women's Day with the announcement of a new project to promote women's economic empowerment in the artisanal gold mining sector in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Artisanal Mining Women's Empowerment Credit and Savings project or AFECCOR (Autonomisation des femmes par l'épargne et le crédit communautaire responsable), will establish a women-led and women-managed microcredit and savings service in Democratic Republic of Congo's northeastern Ituri province, in Mambasa Territory.

AFECCOR is a an extension of Partnership Africa Canada's Just Gold project that aims to bring legal, conflict-free and traceable gold from artisanal mine sites in DRC to international markets. It is fully operational from mine site to exporter in Ituri. Microcredit and savings services will be provided to participants in the Just Gold project including miners, service providers, and mine site operators in an effort to replace informal and abusive credit structures that currently exist, with a sustainable and more transparent financial infrastructure. Microcredit and savings services will be provided to both women and men participating in the Just Gold project.

"Part of our work has been to map out women's vulnerabilities in the artisanal mining sector, as well as to understand the empowerment opportunities in artisanal mining and support women to derive benefits from the sector," said Joanne Lebert, Partnership Africa Canada's Executive Director.

"PAC is committed to gender equality and women's economic empowerment in all phases of its work. We are thrilled to launch the AFECCOR project and to bring this service to the communities already involved in our Just Gold project—filling a need for both women's economic opportunities in artisanal mining, and promoting transparent credit structures as a means to further curb illicit financing."

Capacity-building and training to the women leading the project will be provided, with a goal of launching services before the end of 2017. AFECCOR is funded through the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals.

Read more about the Just Gold project here.

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Media Contact:
Zuzia Danielski
Communications Director, Partnership Africa Canada
+1-613-263-0661
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) is a global leader in developing innovative approaches to strengthen natural resource governance in conflict and high-risk areas. For 30 years, PAC has collaborated with partners to promote policy dialogue and solutions for sustainable development—including through the establishment of the Kimberley Process, which earned PAC a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2003.