DRC Minister of Mines Joins Cobalt Action Partnership

Dec 23, 2020 8:45 AM ET
Press Release

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 23, 2020 /3BL Media/ – The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), as the Partnership Lead of the Cobalt Action Partnership (CAP), today with CAP Implementing Partners announced that His Excellency Professor Willy Kitobo Samsoni, National Minister of Mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is joining the CAP Steering Committee. This step demonstrates a significant step to link the global desire for responsible cobalt supply chains with the important commitment of DRC government actors. 

The CAP, an initiative in collaboration with the Global Battery Alliance, was formalized in May 2020 as a broad-based and multi-sectoral, public-private coalition of organizations. CAP promotes the engagement and commitment of companies towards sustainable and inclusive cobalt value chains, and aims to foster transparent, evidence-based and responsible cobalt value chains to improve safety and working conditions, promote gender equality, address corruption and human rights abuses such as child labor and forced labor, mitigate negative environmental impacts, and meet ambitious sustainability targets, consistent with national regulations and relevant international standards. Cobalt is important for the local and national economies of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), yet the sector faces significant challenges to translate this mineral wealth into sustainable development outcomes and equitable distribution of productivity gains. Given the nature of risks and the complexity of supply chains, due diligence is imperative but often challenging. 

CAP implementing partners and stakeholders are committed to identify solutions and actions across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to legitimize artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) cobalt produced in the DRC, promote global market access for cobalt ASM producers, formalize ASM operations, eradicate child labor and human rights abuses in cobalt mining communities, and harmonize existing initiatives working on these issues to ensure coordinated collective efforts.

“As an impartial public-private initiative supported by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Cobalt Action Partnership is placed to become a strong driver of a responsible and sustainable battery market in this critical decade for climate action,” said Antonia Gawel, Deputy Head of the Platform for Global Public Goods, Head of Circular Economy and Innovation, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum. “It is an important milestone for the Global Battery Alliance, which brokered the CAP in 2020 with support from the World Economic Forum.”

“I look forward to representing the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the CAP leadership as part of our ongoing efforts to support responsible cobalt production in the DRC,” said His Excellency Professor Willy Kitobo Samsoni, National Minister of Mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). 

His Excellency the Minister of Mines Kitobo Samsoni joins representatives from the public, private and nonprofit sectors on the CAP Steering Committee, including Gillian Davidson, Sustainability Adviser, Eurasian Resources Group (ERG); Bryce Lee, Director of CSR, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt; Karen Hayes, Vice President, Environment, Energy, and Extractives, Pact; and Cristina Duranti, Director, Good Shepherd International Foundation. 

“We welcome Minister Samsoni to the CAP Steering Committee and look forward to working with the DRC government in this important multi-sector partnership, which aims to promote widely accepted norms that foster responsible cobalt production and trade,” said Leah Butler, Vice President, Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), CAP Program Lead.  

The CAP’s Implementing Partners include CSR Europe, IIED, Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA), RMI, UNICEF, University of Geneva/NYU Stern. Stakeholders interested in working with the Cobalt Action Partnership can contact cap@responsiblebusiness.org.  

 

About the Cobalt Action Partnership

The Cobalt Action Partnership is an initiative in collaboration with the Global Battery Alliance and is governed by an independent steering committee with balanced representation from private sector, civil society, and governments. The CAP is a broad-based and multi-sectoral, public-private coalition of organizations. These organizations have come together to foster transparent and evidence-based responsible cobalt value chains to improve safety and working conditions, promote gender equality, address corruption and human rights abuses such as child labor and forced labor, mitigate negative environmental impacts, and meet ambitious sustainability targets, consistent with national regulations and relevant international standards. Learn more here.

About the Global Battery Alliance

The Global Battery Alliance (GBA) is a public-private collaboration platform founded in 2017 at the World Economic Forum to help establish a sustainable battery value chain by 2030. It brings together leading businesses along the entire battery value chain, international organizations, NGOs, academics and multiple governments to align collectively in a pre-competitive, multi-stakeholder manner to drive systemic change. All its activities follow Ten Guiding Principles in an effort to realize the GBA 2030 Vision across three dimensions:

  1. Establishing a circular battery value chain that is a major driver to achieve the Paris Agreement targets
  2. Transforming the economy in the value chain, creating new jobs and economic value
  3. Safeguarding human rights and economic development in line with the UN SDGs

Media Contacts:

Jarrett Bens, Director of Communications
Responsible Business Alliance
+1 571.858.5721
jbens@responsiblebusiness.org

Daniella Savic, Coordinatrice Nationale en RDC
Global Battery Alliance/ Cobalt Action Partnership
+243 818 996 845
dsavic@unicef.org