These guidelines provide a framework, which the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) government can use to ensure that the revision of contracts is fair, just and transparent. Minerals form part of a country’s national assets, the proceeds of which should be used to help meet national development objectives.
Mineral production constitutes a major source of foreign and fiscal revenues for most African governments. For post conflict countries, such the DRC, resource flows from extractive industries could be a lifeline. However, the existence of dubious mining contracts is a serious impediment to that objective, as is the case in the DRC where dozens of mining contracts are suspected of being shady.
The state cannot intervene meaningfully in social service provision and in meeting other public sector investment needs if it remains tied to what are clearly unconscionable contracts inherited from a chequered political past. As such, the newly elected DRC government’s decision to review mining contracts, and if need be to rescind them, is a step in the right direction.