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Case Story Details


Organization Name

De Beers Group of Companies

Case Story Title

Partnerships for Economic Development & Poverty Reduction

Case Story Date


Issues Addressed

  • Principle 1 - Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights

Case Story Category

Internalization Project

Countries of Impact

Tanzania, United Republic of

Case Description

This case study focuses on an example of a “Partnership for Economic Development and
Poverty Reduction”. It explores the initial stages of the Mwadui Community Diamond
Partnership (MCDP) project in Tanzania.
Williamson Diamonds Limited (WDL) operates an open-pit diamond mine at Mwadui in
the northern part of Shinyanga region (Kishapu District) in Tanzania. The company is a
joint venture between the De Beers Group (75%) and the Government of Tanzania
Tanzania is the only country where small-scale informal diamond mining and significant
De Beers’ operations co-exist; independently operated small-scale informal diggings are
adjacent to WDL’s mine at Mwadui. Artisanal diamond mining is an important source of
income for the neighbouring communities.
The mineral sector in Tanzania has grown dramatically in recent years but the success of
the formal, large-scale mining industry has not been fully matched by development of
the small-scale sector. Consequently, the Government is keen to see greater
harmonization of large-scale operations and small-scale miners/ diggers. In 2006 the
Government and De Beers identified an opportunity to work together to address, in a
comprehensive way, the socio-economic challenges facing the artsisanal diamond mining
sector in a way that involves the full cooperation and participation of the local
The overall objective of the Mwadui Community Diamond Partnership is to alleviate
poverty and accelerate sustainable social-economic development in communities around
the WDL mine at Mwadui.
Specific objectives of the project are [1] to develop a multi-stakeholder partnership to
formalize, transform and support artisanal and small-scale mining communities and [2]
to promote sustainable economic development in the areas surrounding the mine.
Central to this proposition is the necessity to facilitate fair prices for diamonds found,
decent working conditions, technology that improves transparency in the payments
system and that reduces reliance on intermediaries – for example, using a ‘smart wallet’
system, as well as providing support for development needs of the miners and their
All of these ingredients of the partnership and future solutions on the part of De Beers
reflect the commitment of the company to promote and protect human rights within the
company’s sphere of influence, as a signatory of the UN Global Compact. De Beers is
aware that this can only be done in partnership with other stakeholders and is committed
to participating as an active partner mindful that all ten compact Principles, in one way or
another, will be addressed through the programme of work in the years ahead.
In September 2006, President Jakaya Kikwete and Jonathan Oppenheimer, a director of
De Beers and the Chairman of Williams Diamonds Limited, Tanzania, formally launched
the MCDP at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. The Partnership project is
currently in the diagnostic phase, which is being funded by De Beers. Moving forward it
is anticipated that the project will involve a broad range of non-governmental
organisations, development agencies, multi and bilateral donors and the private sector.



H.H. Semboja
Economic Research Bureau, University of Dar er Salaam, Tanzania
O. Selejio and J. Silas

Economic Research Bureau, University of Dar er Salaam, Tanzania

Contact Person


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