Discussion papers 2018

Chicken now, not eggs later: short-termism, underdevelopment and regime stabilisation in the DRC’s oil governance

Patrick Edmond and Kristof Titeca
Discussion paper 2018.01

The DRC has major possibilities for oil development, but very little actual development. This paper aims to show why this is the case, demonstrating that the main function of the oil sector is regime stability, which manifests itself in various ways. First, the sector is a major source of patronage and rent-extraction. These rents are not created through the active production and development of the sector, but primarily through not developing the sector, which is much more interesting for short-term rent extraction for the concerned actors. Second, we show how there are political and social logics behind corruption, which are also related with regime-stability: rent extraction is allowed as a form of political reward, but this political logic equally means that it should not be overdone. Overdoing corruption brings unnecessary attention, which is detrimental for regime stability. Paradoxically, oil sector development is contrary to regime stability: internal geopolitics, regional relationships, and central control over major wealth are threatened by sector development. The importance of describing these dynamics goes beyond the oil sector: it allows for a better understanding of how political control and corruption function within the DRC, and how development becomes their victim.

Women in (and out of) artisanal mining: apposing policy and women's lived experiences in Lujinji B and Wakayiba mines, Mubende, Uganda

Stella Muheki and Sara Geenen
Discussion paper 2018.02

This paper is situated within an emerging literature on women in mining. It seeks to understand the role of Ugandan women in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) as well as the impact of formalising ASM on these women. Using insights from research on social exclusion and adverse incorporation, the paper explores the challenges of integrating an informal economy into the formal economy, with an emphasis on the Ugandan Minerals and Mining Policy 2018. The study observes that the regulatory framework underpinning formalisation of ASM glosses over gender considerations and risks further marginalizing women. It suggests ways to mitigate likely impacts of this legislation and argues for real transformative change so as to make women’s participation in ASM more beneficial for them.