Sierra Leone’s diamond-rich Kono district has been a magnet for migrant workers – mostly young, single, uneducated, unemployed men seeking their fortunes - making the artisanal diamond mining sector Sierra Leone’s second largest employer (after agriculture). A research case study conducted by University of Bath aimed at looking into the challenges of the diamond mining sector, and its problems of exploitation and poverty.
Diamond mining remains one of Sierra Leone’s most lucrative export industries, with annual production of up to $250m. But due to poor governance and widespread corruption, only a fraction of this wealth returns to the areas where diamonds are mined, where many diamond diggers end up in exploitative relationships with buyers and middlemen. Watch the trailer for an upcoming documentary on this issue.