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Towards a Comprehensive Mining Strategy for the DRC?

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Former Minister of Mining Willy Kitobo summarizes in a recent book what he considers to be the main problems of the DRC mining sector. He rightly underlines the largely insufficient geological data about the DRC’s mining resources, problems related to the correct implementation of the 2018 mining code, challenges of industrial and artisanal exploitation, and finally the huge environmental problems caused by mining practices in the DRC. While these issues are obviously important, they overlook the national and international political and economic context that frame the choices available to a government in this matter.

A narrowing of political to technical problems characterizes the nature of official public debate about the mining sector in the DRC. The strategic choices for the mining sector made by and for the country, on a short, medium and long term, if any, are almost never debated, not only to hide the decisions taken from the public eye, but probably also because the necessary analysis has not been undertaken. Expertise in the academic community for the major part remains technical. Civil society very partially makes up for this gap, but even then, their activity is almost always issue-based and tied to funding for a particular project. Still, civil society for natural resources has developed over the years an impressive level of competence in issues of mining governance. Unfortunately, their expertise is not valued and used beyond the relatively short timeframes they must work in.


An earlier draft of this brief was published as « Un centre d’études en réseau sur le secteur minier. Valoriser l’expertise congolaise », in Les Cahiers du CRESA, n. 70, Sept. 2022, ISES-Lubumbashi, pp. 228-242.


(Photo credit:  Wikimedia Commons)