Emancipatory technology and developing-world supply chains: A case study of African women gemstone miners Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractArtisanal and smallscale mining (ASM) make up roughly 90% of the colored gemstone trade, a still untamed industry where money laundering, cartels, arms purchases, and crime run rampant while many miners prospect and dream of finding the big one. Women make up to 30% to 50% of ASM, often in developing regions. Struggling to make a living and support their families, women miners are subject to discrimination, unfair labor practices, and poor access to rich foreign markets. Grounded in a longitudinal case study in Africa, this qualitative research examines the journey of an organization seeking to emancipate women miners through supply chains that embrace technology, provenance, and disintermediation. This research demonstrates the strategic value of emancipatory technologies for firms. Secondly, we find evidence that combinations of storytelling and digital records create multidimensional provenance that mitigates a number of supply chain risks, particularly in tainted chains. Lastly, this research extends Tang's framework for engaging marginalized populations as suppliers and producers.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 2.35

author list (cited authors)

  • George, J., Whitten, D., Metters, R., & Abbey, J.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • George, Jordana||Whitten, Dwayne||Metters, Richard||Abbey, James

publication date

  • September 2022