This report first provided an overview and analysis of the regional trade in minerals from Eastern DRC, including a baseline assessment of its links to conflict and development dynamics. This assessment explains the on the ground realities, which are at the very heart of the authors scepticism towards the potential success of interventions in the economic domain. The assessment of the trade also provides an overview of the important poverty reduction contribution, such as the trade’s fiscal linkage and employment function, which it currently provides and which can be expanded with the right strategies.
Secondly, the report expands on a regional perspective of the trade and introduces how successfully the DRC’s neighbours, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania, have leveraged their own mineral production and trading sectors in various ways for development. This regional assessment of the development impact, but more importantly the regional development potential of a reformed trade leads us to believe that processes of regional economic integration, which are strengthening in East Africa, provide an increasingly important analytical perspective of the trade, rather than the “loot thy neighbour” strategy that was seen to prevail during the past two Congolese wars.
This report aims to further advances the debate around the mineral sector in Eastern DRC. The authors urge stakeholders to take action to end the insecurity in the region and to implement strategies to maximise the mining sector’s impact on poverty reduction and development through positive engagement.