Follow CAP on Social Media

Listen to the CAP Podcast

Even If the DRC is Able To Re-Negotiate Its Mining Contracts With The Chinese and Others, It’s Still Not Going to Help Ordinary People, Says Expert

A man watches a conveyor belt loaded with chunks of Raw cobalt after a first transformation at a plant in Lubumbashi. SAMIR TOUNSI / AFP

A leading Congolese mining expert wants to dispel the notion that President Félix Tshisekedi’s efforts to renegotiate foreign mining contracts is going to benefit ordinary people. “It is, of course, a first step,” acknowledged Jean Pierre Okenda, a well-known expert in DRC mining issues and head of the extractive resources department at the Brussels-based NGO Resource Matters in an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde, “but those contracts generate money for state companies and don’t contribute directly to the national budget.”

The problem dates back to the early 2000s when the state-run mining company Gécamines was on the verge of bankruptcy and signed a number of joint venture deals, including a massive one with a consortium of Chinese firms. “[These deals] are totally unbalanced in the sharing of mining revenues. This partnership led to a huge loss of $2 billion for DRC,” said Albert Yuma, chair of the board of Gécamines.

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Africa Project?

Independent

The CAP is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.

News

A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.

Analysis

Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalist and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Africa discourse.

Networking

A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.