Sourcing

Moyo Gems Is Expanding Into Kenya

SourcingNov 17, 2021

Moyo Gems Is Expanding Into Kenya

The mine-to-market program will also add a new mining area in Tanzania.

Mine-to-market program Moyo Gems is expanding into Taita-Taveta, Kenya. Non-governmental organization Pact recently took officials on site visits to Tanga, Tanzania, where the program already operates, to show Moyo in action. (Image courtesy Cristina Villegas, Pact)
New York—Moyo Gems, the sourcing program that tracks colored stones from women miners in East Africa from mine to market, is expanding into Kenya.

Moyo launched in early 2019 to help female miners in Tanga, Tanzania find buyers for their colored stones and teach them about the value of their gems, as well as occupational health and safety, and optimal working conditions.

The project is a collaboration among non-governmental organization Pact, stone dealers Anza Gems, Nineteen48, and now Maison Piat, the Tanzania Women Miners Association (TAWOMA) and Everledger/Gübelin Gem Lab with the Provenance Proof blockchain platform.

Colored stones were available for purchase beginning in late 2019, and Moyo has been steadily expanding since then. The program now involves more than 400 miners.   

Soon, it will also include gems mined by women in Kenya, specifically the mineral-rich area of Taita-Taveta County that abuts the Kenya-Tanzania border. 

Just as TAWOMA united the women miners involved in Tanzania, the Moyo Gems expansion will engage the Association of Women in Energy and Extractives in Kenya (AWEIK). 

Training will roll out early next year and exports will begin shortly thereafter. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

“Kenya is a natural expansion location for the Moyo Gems program,” said Cristina Villegas, director of mines to markets at Pact.

“Both Tanzania and Kenya share a gemstone belt, a common language (Kiswahili), strong women’s mining associations with which to partner, and high rates of women gem miners who are eager to join a program that is tailored to their needs.”

Villegas also confirmed that Moyo is expanding within Tanzania.

Since the Tanzania expansion is still in the early stages, the location can’t be revealed yet. But Villegas confirmed it will focus on rubies and is in a priority area for TAWOMA, which asked Pact to consider expanding the program into new areas within its membership footprint. 

Pact and its partners have, and will continue to, travel to the new areas to engage with locals, and understand how Moyo could work and what changes might need to be made. 

Both expansions have been made possible through The World Bank’s Extractives Global Programmatic Support fund.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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