What is Cobalt for Development?

Cobalt for Development (C4D) is a development project implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and exclusively funded by a cross-industry partnership including BASF, BMW, Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI and Volkswagen Group. Its goal is to improve the living and working standards for artisanal cobalt miners and their communities. This is done by working with the miners directly through local cooperatives, official authorities and civil society. Ultimately, the aims of the project will be achieved by strengthening legal compliance, improving health and working conditions, managing environmental resources and a focus on economic and social wellbeing.

What is our vision to the ASM sector?

Our vision for the ASM sector is to set out whether artisanal cobalt mining in DR Congo can be conducted in a responsible manner in line with human rights, as well as national and international norms. We believe that by working with local mining cooperatives and government authorities, this vision can be achieved through strengthening legal compliance, improving health and safety conditions and environmental management.To fulfill this vision, a holistic approach is needed: aiming to not just mitigate risks within artisanal mining, but also to support the economic and social wellbeing of entire communities.

This sector has external side effects apart from the precarious working conditions and as such the all-encompassing strategy aims to make a long-term change that we hope is also scalable and replicable to other areas across the DR Congo.Ideally, the reproduction of this pilot example will inspire and foster more responsible ASM in accordance with Congolese and international laws and standards. As a part of this program, the project partners will contribute to global knowledge sharing and networks by highlighting effective lessons learned from C4D, with stakeholders, donors and international forums as well as private actors interested in supporting similar initiatives.

How we do it?

Cobalt for Development has made significant achievements supporting artisanal miners and cooperatives as well as working in the surrounding communities.

Mining component

Since October 2020, Cobalt for Development has provided technical assistance support to 14 mining cooperatives in the province of Lualaba, DR Congo. 36 mining experts have been trained by Cobalt for Development and SAEMAPE following an interactive methodology. Some of the topics that were covered are
  1. Health, safety and security measures
  2. Environmental management
  3. Protective equipment
  4. Administration and cooperative management
Following these workshops, three of the trained cooperatives were included in C4D’s on-site coaching programme to accompany them in putting the training content into practice. 


Community component

C4D began implementation in September 2019 in Kisote, a village 20km south of Kolwezi. Many of the activities were also extended to the neighbouring villages of Tshikopo and Kitanika. The project so far has improved the living conditions of 3,000 residents of these communities through five main activities

Access To Education

The project constructed a new seven classroom school building, which was inaugurated in October 2020. 600 children ranging from 6 to 15 years enjoy a better learning environment and receive a free lunch. Together with teachers and school authorities, efforts were made to ensure that primary education is free, in accordance with Congolese law. Parents were informed about the importance and value of school education and teachers were trained in pedagogical methods to improve the quality of teaching

Vocational Training Courses And Activities

The former school building has been renovated and converted into a vocational training center. The potential livelihoods to be targeted and the corresponding training courses are identified jointly with community members based on a market analysis and business plan. A recent example of this process involved two women’s associations who wanted to open a bakery. After a market analysis showed promising results, they were trained over the course of several weeks and are now selling on average 120 baked goods a day.

Financial Literacy Trainings

306 beneficiaries increased their savings as a result of the financial literacy trainings. Community members created savings groups to which they pay a fixed weekly amount. Members can also apply for small loans, which are paid out of the group’s savings and reimbursed with interest. At the end of a four-month savings cycle, the total amount is distributed to all members.

Agriculture Trainings

The project features two complimentary agricultural training courses. A technical training on cultivation methods provides information on principles such as crop rotation, agriculture in the dry season or the correct use of fertilizers. A second training course, the so-called "Farmer Business School", supplements these technical principles with economic aspects that allow farmers to plan better and increase their productivity and profits. So far, 166 beneficiaries were trained, and 6 farming cooperatives established.

Partnering for a sustainable future

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