Moyo Gems, an international gemstone training and sourcing program, has confirmed that it is coming to Kenya.
Moyo Gems is a gemstone collaboration that was initiated in Tanzania in 2019. Since then, the program has quickly captured the world’s attention with its focus on the artisanal and small-scale gemstone miners of East Africa.
In Kenya, the Moyo Gems program will commence with an international study tour that will bring selected Kenyan miners and officials to Tanzania. Key training programs including the Gemstone Value Chain and Mining Health and Safety topics will commence with the pre-selected pilot class of artisanal and small scale (ASM) gemstone miners in Taita Taveta County. The first purchasing event will be a small pilot effort to ensure success, with plans of expansion.
This expansion into Kenya is supported by The Extractives Global Programmatic Support Multi-Donor Trust Fund (EGPS) of the World Bank. The collaborators in Kenya are Pact Kenya, Pact Tanzania, the County Government of Taita Taveta, and the Association of Women in Extractive Industries in Kenya (AWEIK).
A key part of the Moyo Gems program is its emphasis on women miners. “Women form both the beginning and the end of the jewellery supply chain. One of the reasons that Moyo has become so beloved around the world so quickly is because we really focus on women miners, elevate them, and bring new resources into an area,” said Moyo Gems co-founder Cristina Villegas, Director of mining at Pact International.
Her Excellency the Deputy Governor of Taita Taveta Hon. Majala Mlagui remarked that a key focus of the County Government has been implementing programmes to empower women socio-economically across the county. “I am excited that in addition to the farming programmes, for example, we are now able to enter the gemstone mining space with an economically impactful initiative for artisanal miners across the value chain,” she added.