President Felix Tshisekedi of Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered revision of mining contracts arguing that Investors are getting richer while local people remain poor.
The congolese leader made the announcement on Thursday while addressing a rally in the centre of Kolwezi town in Lualaba Congo’s Cobalt-rich province.
“It is not normal that those with whom the country has signed exploitation contracts get richer while our populations remain poor,” said Tshisekedi.
According to President Tshisekedi, “It is time for the country to readjust its contracts with the miners with a view to sealing win-win partnerships.”
President Tshisekedi is currently traversing the country to gunner support for his government. Before the Lualaba stage, Félix Tshisekedi was in Lubumbashi in Haut-Katanga.
Kolwezi town in Lualaba province is a mining hub and investors in this part have been enjoying favours gifted to them under the regime of former President Joseph Kabila.
In December, DRC’s Senator-for-life Joseph Kabila Kabange flew to Kolwezi after losing badly in the parliamentary wrestle with President Tshisekedi.
On April, 13, President Tshisekedi appointed Antoinette N’Samba Kalambayi to head the Mines Ministry with the aim of transforming the mining sector into a major contributor to the country’s GDP.
DRC is the world’s largest source of cobalt and Africa’s biggest copper producer. Cobalt is a key component in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in mobiles phones, laptops and electric cars.
In June 2019, Lualaba governor opened a centralised mineral trading hub controlled by the provincial authorities. with the aim of fighting fraud and maximising state revenues.
All minerals produced through small-scale artisanal mining in Lualaba province must be tested and sold at a centralised trade hub from June 29, 2020 according to the Provincial document. Artisanal miners account for around 20% of the cobalt output from DRC.
Tshisekedi government has been pushing to centralise cobalt trading through a state monopoly created in January 2020, the Entreprise Generale de Cobalt (EGC).