Congo mining reform is making progress, but oversight is still lacking(Read article summary)
Guest blogger Jason Stearns explains further his assertion last week that Congo mining industry reform deserves 'cautious optimism.'
Last week, I expressed some cautious optimism here about reforms in the mining sector in the eastern Congo. I received quite a bit of feedback on various issues, which merit another posting to clarify some issues. (See original post here.)
First, "cautious" is the operative word. The Congolese export ban (September 2010- March 2011) and the US electronic industry's embargo of untraced minerals (April 2011- present) have caused major job losses in the Kivus, as well as played into the hands of a select elite of military commanders, including ICC-indictee Bosco Ntaganda. It is, however, important to point out that neither initiative was caused directly by the Dodd-Frank legislation in the US. Rather, the export ban was decreed by the Congolese presidency, while the industry embargo was an aggressive interpretation of the US legislation. Dodd-Frank call for companies to carry out due diligence and to report their findings; the OECD guidelines call on companies to minimize the risk of financing armed groups.