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CJID wins $400,000 USAID JET Minerals Challenge

[Abuja, October 24, 2023] – The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) has won the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Powering Just Energy Transition Green Minerals Challenge (JET Minerals Challenge), securing nearly $400,000 in funding to advance its groundbreaking mission.

As one of the pioneering innovators in the Countering Transnational Corruption Grand Challenge’s expansive network, CJID is focused on eradicating corruption within the green mineral supply chains, a task of paramount importance in today’s global context. This was announced    in a statement by USAID on Thursday.

The JET Minerals Challenge is the flagship initiative under the Countering Transnational Corruption Grand Challenge for Development (CTC Grand Challenge). This challenge extends financial and in-kind support, including specialized technical assistance, to the accomplished winners, with funding ranging from $50,000 to $400,000, propelling them toward their revolutionary goals.

CJID’s project will deploy data aggregation, civic technology, investigative journalism, and capacity building to harness the power of data in the fight against corruption in the green minerals sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, Mozambique, and Nigeria. CJID will partner with Dataphyte in Nigeria, Mine.cd in DRC, and Dubawa Ghana to promote access to information in the African green minerals sector and improve the use of green minerals data to increase investigative reporting and anti-corruption advocacy.

This partnership will increase citizen participation in green minerals governance and accountability and provide anti-corruption agencies with the data and investigative reports they need to work effectively in the green minerals sector.

The Selection Process

In 2022, USAID, with its partners, unveiled the inaugural Powering a Just Energy Transition Green Minerals Challenge (JET Minerals Challenge) under the auspices of the Countering Transnational Corruption Grand Challenge for Development (CTC Grand Challenge). This initiative invited proposals from across the globe, transcending sectors and borders, all united in their shared mission to combat corruption within green mineral supply chains.

The response was overwhelming, with nearly 60 concepts submitted, drawing upon expertise and innovation from diverse corners of the world. After an exhaustive selection process overseen by industry experts, USAID identified 20 semi-finalists. These semi-finalists convened for an Innovation bootcamp at the 2023 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains in April 2023. Subsequently, they submitted comprehensive applications for funding in June. Following another round of meticulous evaluation and a thorough due diligence process, USAID proudly announced the selection of 11 visionary winners, each set to receive financial support ranging from $50,000 to $400,000, accompanied by tailored technical assistance to facilitate the realization of their groundbreaking projects.

About the JET Minerals Challenge

The JET Minerals Challenge represents an unwavering commitment to combating corruption and enhancing transparency, accountability, and integrity in the race to meet the surging demand for green minerals on a global scale. The winning innovations of the JET Minerals Challenge are meticulously aligned with USAID’s Anti-Corruption Policy, focusing on curbing corrupt practices, elevating the cost of corruption, and promoting integrity in both public and private sectors.

With the increasing demand for green minerals, USAID recognizes this initiative’s critical role in fulfilling the promise of an inclusive, sustainable, and equitable future for clean energy while averting the pitfalls of the “resource curse” that have plagued other extractive industries. Four winning solutions are designed for tackling transnational corruption on a global or multi-country scale, while the remaining seven are tailored to address specific countries. These pioneering initiatives span 15 countries worldwide, targeting over ten green mineral supply chains, including cobalt, copper, lithium, manganese, nickel, rare earth elements, and silver.

The Innovators’ Approaches

The JET Minerals Challenge innovators are working at the forefront of new and innovative approaches to strengthen transparency, accountability, and integrity in the global rush to meet unprecedented demand for green minerals. Some of the innovators are introducing or scaling online platforms that allow for safe reporting on corruption, the dissemination of information about payments, fees, and taxes, or the facilitation of direct connections between small-scale miners and mineral buyers.

Other innovators are engaging journalists, non-governmental organisations, local communities, or other stakeholders in developing tools and processes that hold the mining industry accountable.

Their work is geographically and sectorally diverse, with four innovators pursuing multi-country initiatives to address transnational corruption and seven focused on a single country. Seven of the winning organisations are women-led, and nearly half are local organisations. Covering 15 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the innovators are targeting more than ten green mineral supply chains, including cobalt, copper, lithium, manganese, nickel, silver, and rare earth elements.

About CJID

The Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) is a West African media innovation and development think tank. Founded in 2014 as a non-governmental organisation in Nigeria, the Centre has been a leader in investigative journalism, innovation, open data, verification, the promotion of journalist welfare and safety, elections, and the freedom of information and expression. In 2020, the CJID expanded its footprints beyond Nigeria and moved into specific niches in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and The Gambia.

Signed:

Akintunde Babatunde

Director of Programmes, CJID

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