Today, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the United States Agency for International Development issued a unique business risk advisory focused on the gold sector across sub-Saharan Africa. The advisory highlights the opportunities and specific risks raised by the gold trade across sub-Saharan Africa and encourages industry participants to adopt and apply strengthened due diligence practices to ensure that malign actors, such as the Wagner Group, are unable to exploit and benefit from the sector, which remains essential to the livelihoods of millions of people across the continent.
The advisory provides integrated and holistic guidance to those connected to the gold sector in sub-Saharan Africa, which produces approximately 25 percent of the world’s gold each year. It encourages U.S. businesses to undertake responsible investment in all aspects of the sector: mining, trading, refining, manufacturing, and retail of end products. In particular, the advisory discusses the multi-faceted context related to artisanal and small-scale mining, reviewing the opportunities for development in the sector and ways in which the U.S. government has provided support.
At the same time, there are numerous risks that are directly and indirectly connected to the gold sector in sub-Saharan Africa. Without adequate due diligence and appropriate mitigating measures, an industry participant may inadvertently contribute to one or more of these risks, including conflict and terror financing, money laundering, corruption, sanctions evasion, human rights and labor rights abuses, and environmental degradation.
The United States shares the same interests and objectives as gold producers across sub-Saharan Africa in ensuring the development of a responsible and sustainable gold sector that eliminates the role of predatory and malign actors. This advisory serves as another tool to achieve those objectives.
Read the full text of the advisory here.