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Contribution to improvement of the governance of mining resources in Katanga (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Preliminary look at the mining sector of the Center Group, in relation to small-scale mining operations at the Karajipopo (Likasi) and Shamitumba (Kambove) sites

By (SADRI-ARGA, September 2009)

In the framework of rebuilding governance in Africa and, in particular, as part of the “Contribution to improvement of the governance of mining resources in Katanga” project, a study was carried out on the creation of socio-economic and environmental profile sheets in the ‘Groupe Centre’ (Center Group) mining region, and in particular at the small-scale mining sites in Karajipopo in the Likasi jurisdiction and Shamitumba in the Kambove jurisdiction.

As indicated in the terms of reference of this research, the objective of the study of profile sheets is to produce a concise study that gives us a complete map of the mining sector of the targeted region, and to predict changes in the mining sector in these territories with regard to the decentralisation process now in progress and its probable impact on the institutional framework (administrative and legislative framework) and on the territories.

The world is being hit with societal changes that impact on the industrial and services sectors. Amongst these changes, the birth of new values belonging to a universal order is of the utmost importance. These values touch on ecology, ethics, health and pleasure.

Ecology, and in a wider sense the environment, have in just a few years become a new constraint, a source of new markets and one component in the image of many companies.

‘Sustainable development’, a new concept that came out of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, was added to economists’ vocabulary. Sustainable development is defined as development that satisfies the needs of the current generation without depriving future generations of the capacity to satisfy their own needs. Three major building blocks form its foundation:

  • The social building block and the underlying concept of social equity based on a fairer distribution of wealth and greater solidarity between territories;

  • The environmental building block and the underlying concept of protection and conservation, the objective of which is to protect the environment by reducing pollution, protecting air and water quality and maintaining biodiversity;

  • The economic building block and the underlying concept of growth, without which development is impossible.

Now there is a new, fourth building block:governance and the underlying concept of good governance based on a form of organisation that allows actors to reach agreement, work together and coordinate actions.

Finally, the most pertinent question being asked today is whether or not, given the above, the conditions of small-scale mining in Katanga are likely to generate sustainable development in this province in particular, and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in general.

(The complete document is available in French)

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