The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently announced plans to reintroduce the shelved changes to the country’s mining code. The current mining code, introduced in 2002, was based on a draft prepared under the auspices of the World Bank. Its primary objective was to relaunch the industrial mining sector following the Congo wars of 1996 to 2003 by opening it up to foreign investors. While it has been successful in achieving this goal, the benefits to Congolese people are more difficult to discern. Today the DRC is Africa’s largest copper producer and the world’s largest cobalt producer. Its mining sector contributes 22% of GDP and 28% of government revenue. Yet the most recent Human Development Report ranks the DRC 176 out of 188 countries, with a life expectancy of 59 years and 77% of the population living below the income poverty line. The latest round of changes were originally submitted to Parliament in March 2015, but the amendment process was suspended due...
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