Make mining work for the people”
Jean Pierre Okenda DRC country manager, Natural Resource Governance Institute
“1. Bring back long-term planning The DRC needs to recognise that transforming its underground riches into real societal progress takes many years. The recent reforms in the sector reveal a lack of long-term vision: why bother doing governance reforms on one hand, while allowing officials to take stakes in mining companies on the other?
2. Create value at home The DRC needs to use incentives to create local processing of minerals. The economic structure of the industry remains that of the colonial era. The 2015 EITI report [shows] the contribution of the sector to exports was 97.5%, but it only contributed 20% to GDP. The DRC needs to flip that dynamic to harness mining to genuine structural transformation.
3. Inject good governance at every step Too often resource riches are squandered by implementation failure. How do we make officials accountable? How do we link this oversight to civil society? The stakes are huge: since 2015 we are the leading producers of base betals in Africa. But between 2010 and 2012, the country lost nearly $1bn in transactions implicating state company Gécamines.
4. Attract serious investors To add value to the immense mining resources of the DRC requires capital we don’t have. In our uncertain political context, bringing in capital can be perilous. That bumps up the premium investors place on the returns they expect and attracts buccaneers. Only when we deliver profound political reform and create a trusted legal framework will be able to attract a better class of investor.
5. Beef up resource mapping To get those serious investors into the sector, we need to get reliable and comprehensive geological data. Not only does that help us attract capital, but sunlight is also the best disinfectant.”