Analysis and Policy Brief 19: Sara Geenen and Jorden De Haan | Coopératives minières au Sud-Kivu: recours ou extorsion?

A la lumière des développements politiques récents, les «coopératives minières » semblaient être le dernier recours pour les mineurs artisanaux congolais. Bailleurs internationaux, ONG, gouvernements nationaux et provinciaux, organisations de la société civile locales et même le secteur privé ont tous sauté dans le train de la promotion et du renforcement des coopératives de mineurs. Mais ces dernières prennent-elles vraiment la forme d’un recours, ou vont-elles plutôt soutenir l’extorsion de fonds par les acteurs les plus puissants ? Sur la base d’une étude de terrain dans la province du Sud-Kivu, ce document fait valoir que le pouvoir des mineurs et la répartition des richesses
dans les mines artisanales n’ont pas été considérablement modifiés mais que les coopératives courent le risque de faire progresser le détournement et l’extorsion de fonds par les acteurs les plus puissants.

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Analysis and Policy Brief 17: Stef Vandeginste | Burundi's crisis and the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement: which way forward?

In virtually all of the international diplomatic statements concerning the ongoing political and security crisis in Burundi, reference is made to the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement that was signed in August 2000. The current crisis is seen as potentially “seriously undermining the significant gains achieved through the Arusha Agreement”1. Repeated calls have been made for a “genuine and inclusive dialogue, based on the respect of the Arusha Agreement”2. At the domestic level as well, the Arusha Agreement stands at the heart of the political dispute. The missions of the National Commission for Inter-Burundian Dialogue, established in September 2015, include an evaluation of the Arusha Agreement.3 A newly established opposition movement, CNARED, is named after its main objective which is the restoration of the respect for the Arusha Agreement.4
Most of the time, however, references to Arusha – and the need to respect its letter and/or its spirit – remain rather vague. This begs two important questions which this Brief addresses, and which are analysed in more detail in an accompanying IOB Working Paper.5 First, why should the Arusha Agreement, a fifteen year old peace accord, be so central in the current political debate? What gains need to be preserved? Second, assuming that there is a political agreement around the need to preserve the ‘Arusha acquis’, how can its respect be ensured and strengthened through Burundi’s political and judicial institutions? These questions will hopefully feature  prominently on the agenda of the – presumably - forthcoming dialogue and negotiations between Burundi’s political actors and between Burundi and its international partners.

Download Analysis and Policy Brief 17: Stef Vandeginste | Burundi’s crisis and the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement: which way forward?

Analysis and Policy Brief 16: Filip Reyntjens | Reduction of poverty and inequality, the Rwandan way. And the aid community loves it.

Some time ago, I congratulated the Rwandan government on the progress shown in the latest Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV4), particularly in terms of the reduction of poverty and inequality. I’m afraid I now have to withdraw my kudos. Both President Kagame and Minister of Finance and Economic Planning
Gatete (in his foreword to the EICV4) claimed a substantial progress in poverty reduction, from 44.9% in 2010/11 to 39.1% in 2013/14, a spectacular drop of 6 points. This is indeed what can be found in the survey.

Download Analysis and Policy Brief 16: Filip Reyntjens | Reduction of poverty and inequality, the Rwandan way. And the aid community loves it.

Analysis and Policy Brief 15: Tom De Herdt and Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan | Real governance and practical norms in Sub-Saharan Africa: the game of the rules

Key messages

• While proposals for development policy usually address the “state” as a coherent development actor, the gap between what is made visible or explicit and what actually happens on the ground may be quite large.

• The real policy-makers are street-level bureaucrats, at the lowest level of the policy chain. The concept of “practical norms” may help to orient analysis to these “last mile problems” of policy implementation.

• It is important to avoid the rage de vouloir conclure and first gain a better understanding of people’s lived experience of public action and to explore the positive and negative sides of different aspects of this ‘real governance’.

This Analysis and Policy brief presents the main ideas of an edited volume on real governance and practical norms that was published this year at Routledge. The book traces the concept of practical norms back to the social science literature and the network of ideas from which it emerged, it extends the field of its application to other regions and sectors in Sub-Sahara Africa and it reflects on the concept’s usefulness for researchers engaged in processes of improving public service delivery.

Download Analysis and Policy Brief 15: Tom De Herdt and Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan | Real governance and practical norms in Sub-Sahara Africa: the game of the rules

Analysis and Policy Brief 14: Jorden De Haan and Sara Geenen | Mining cooperatives in South Kivu: saviour or extortionist?

Looking at recent policy, ‘mining cooperatives’ appear to be the latest saviour for Congolese artisanal mineworkers. International donors and NGOs, national and provincial governments, local civil society organizations and even the private sector all have jumped on the bandwagon to promote and empower miners’ cooperatives. But do the latter really take the form of a saviour, or do they rather sustain extortion by the most powerful actors? On the basis of a field study in South Kivu province, this brief argues that mineworkers’ power positions and the distribution of wealth in artisanal mining have not been significantly altered, but that cooperatives are at risk of advancing capture and extortion by the most powerful actors.

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Analysis and Policy Brief 13: Stef Vandeginste | Discours diplomatique et mandats présidentiels en Afrique centrale. Une lettre ouverte à son Excellence l'Ambassadeur de l'Allemagne au Rwanda, M. Peter Fahrenholtz

Anvers, le 5 juin 2015

Excellence Monsieur l’Ambassadeur,

Le 18 mai 2015, vous avez accordé une interview au New Times que j’ai lue avec grand intérêt. Par la présente lettre ouverte, je me permets de réagir aux déclarations importantes que vous faites dans cette interview concernant la limitation constitutionnelle du nombre de mandats que peut exercer un chef d’Etat.

Comme vous le savez, dans plusieurs pays africains – entre autres le Burundi, la République du Congo et la République Démocratique du Congo (RDC) – la question de la limitation du nombre de mandats présidentiels fait l’objet de tensions politiques, d’activisme de la part de la société civile et de débat scientifique. Au Rwanda, une initiative visant à réviser la constitution a récemment pris de l’ampleur. Un nombre impressionnant de pétitions viennent d’être présentées au parlement. Elles proposent d’annuler, par référendum, la limitation du nombre de mandats que peut exercer le président de la République, actuellement prévue par l’article 101 de la Constitution («Le président de la République est élu pour un mandat de sept ans renouvelable une seule fois. En aucun cas, nul ne peut exercer plus de deux mandats présidentiels»).

Lire la lettre ouverte entièrement

Analysis and Policy Brief 12: Stef Vandeginste | Presidential Term Limits and Dubious Diplomatic Discourse. An open letter to His Excellency Peter Fahrenholtz, German Ambassador to Rwanda.

Your Excellency,

Dear Ambassador Fahrenholtz,

 

On 18 May 2015, the New Times published an exclusive interview you gave and which I read with great interest. I usually do not write open letters to diplomatic envoys. Exceptionally, I wish to do so in order to react to the important statement you made in this New Times interview concerning the topical issue of presidential term limits. 

As you know, in several African countries – including Burundi, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – the enforcement of constitutional presidential term limits is the subject of political controversy, civil society activism and scholarly analysis. In Rwanda, a movement to amend the Constitution has gained momentum. Around the time of your interview, an impressive number of petitions were handed over to parliament calling for a removal, ahead of the 2017 elections, of the presidential term limit currently laid down in article 101 of the Constitution (“The President of the Republic is elected for a term of seven years renewable only once. Under no circumstances shall a person hold the office of President of the Republic for more than two terms.”)

Read the Analysis and Policy Brief 12: Stef Vandeginste | Presidential Term Limits and Dubious Diplomatic Discourse. An open letter to His Excellency Peter Fahrenholtz, German Ambassador to Rwanda here

Analysis and Policy Brief 11: Filip Reyntjens | Scenarios for Burundi

The question whether Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza can run for a third term at the presidential election scheduled for June has generated a great deal of debate, and it is now creating violent tensions leading to increasing refugee flows to neighbouring countries. It has even split the ruling party CNDD-FDD.

Download Analysis and Policy Brief 11: Filip Reyntjens | Scenarios for Burundi

Analysis and Policy Brief 10: Janvier Kilosho, Nik Stoop and Marijke Verpoorten | The social minefield of gold digging in South-Kivu, DRC The case of Kamituga

Starting out as a Large-Scale Mining (LSM) activity in the colonial period, gold mining became more and more dominated by artisanal miners in the course of the past decades. Now, the pendulum swings back to LSM. What is the scope for a relocation and/or reorientation of artisanal miners? We study the case of Kamituga, one of Banro’s gold concessions in South-Kivu.

Download Analysis and Policy Brief 10: Janvier Kilosho, Nik Stoop and Marijke Verpoorten | The social minefield of gold digging in South-Kivu, DRC The case of Kamituga