Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP 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.

Lead the Conversation on China

Subscribe Today to Get Full Access to The China-Global South Project

Check Out Everything You'll Get With Your Subscription

The China-Global South Daily Brief delivered to your inbox at 6AM Washington time

Full access to exclusive news and analysis from editors based in the Global South

Transcripts of CGSP’s twice-weekly podcasts

Students and teachers with a valid .edu email address are eligible for a 50% discount off monthly or yearly subscriptions. Email us to receive a discount code.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


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


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


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