RAPAPORT… The board of directors of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) International appointed Dorothée Gizenga the organization’s first executive director effective March 17, 2008.
Gizenga, who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is now a Canadian holds degrees in chemistry and economics. She has worked with the provincial government of Ontario and the Canadian Federal Government, and has worked extensively with community organizations in Canada and Africa. Since 2003, Gizenga has worked with Partnership Africa Canada, an international NGO focusing on policy and research in the areas of peace, human security and sustainable development.
At Partnership Africa Canada, she was responsible for supporting the implementation of projects related to the Kimberley Process, the International Conference for Peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, and the prevention of violence against women in conflict zones. She also took part in the creation and development of the Diamond Development Initiative.
Her experience includes policy development, international negotiation, evaluation, project design, management and coordination, and working with disadvantaged and marginalized groups. She speaks English, French, Portuguese, and Russian.
In making the announcement, the chairman of DDI’s board of directors, Ian Smillie, said “Dorothée brings a huge range of experience and skills to the Diamond Development Initiative, and we are very much looking forward to working with her as she takes up this challenging position.”
More than a million African artisanal diamond diggers and their families live and work in absolute poverty, outside the formal economy, in countries struggling to recover from the ravages of war. The Diamond Development Initiative is a dynamic and unique effort to address their problems, bringing NGOs, governments and the private sector together in a common effort that aims to convert diamonds from a fuel for war into an engine for development. This will be achieved through a mix of field projects, policy dialogue, education and public engagement. DDI International is registered as a nonprofit charitable organization in the United States.