On August 20th and 21st 2019, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Trade Union Competence Centre (FES TUCC) and IndustriALL Sub-Saharan Region convened a workshop on transformation of the informal to a formal economy. The deliberations focused on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) a livelihood strategy that is expanding in the midst of multiple and interlinked ecological, economic and social reproduction crises. This workshop was part of a series of FES TUCC intervention project, Crossing the Divide (CTD) which looks at the transformation of informal to formal work by drawing on the Power Resources Approach (PRA). PRA traces the origins of precarious work and elaborates tools to analyze and identify a basis for trade union renewal.
The workshop was held in collaboration with IndustriALL Sub Saharan Africa affiliates, artisanal miners’ organizations, mining community networks, non-governmental organizations and academics in Africa to engage on artisanal mining policy and explore the potential for trade union renewal. Noting that IndustriALL is a global union federation with affiliates in diverse sectors from manufacturing, energy, automotive, base metals and mining and processing of precious minerals, countries represented included South Africa, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Ghana. The partnership with IndustriALL, aimed at engaging on ILO Recommendation 204 on formalizing the informal sector, and to elaborate on its specific applications in ASM. At the workshop, it was recognized that, the definitions of formal, informal, and illegal mining vary across countries and contexts, and are often not clear-cut. Informal mining and illegal mining are often used synonymously. However, there are important distinctions that need to be understood in order to develop effective policies and laws for the Artisanal Small Scale Mining (ASM) sector and this vary on a contextual basis.
As a follow-up to the cross country engagement on August 2019, in Johannesburg on transforming the ASM sector, this project has further been developed into national level activities within the context of country legal frameworks that underpins the process of formalization. It is in this light that the FES Trade Union Competence Centre Sub-Saharan Africa (FES TUCC) and IndustriALL Global Union Sub Saharan Regional Office, in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Zambia organised the Crossing the Divide (CTD) workshop in Chisamba, Lusaka, in order to get a concrete understanding of the ASM subsector in Zambia while developing the necessary linkages that support the formalization process. The workshop engaged officials from the relevant institutions in Zambia which included; Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ), Caritas Zambia, Association of Women in Mining and Gemstone and Mine Workers Union.