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DRC Cabinet reshuffle: Will it harm or help the mining sector?

There can be no doubt that politics and mining are intrinsically linked. While African governments try to redress the imbalances of the past because of colonialist policies and crippling dictatorships that robbed the masses of benefitting from mineral wealth, they also tread a fine line trying to ensure that international investors view their countries as attractive mining destinations.

That is why the political musical chairs playing out in the DRC has my attention this week.

After months of political wrangling following the breakdown of the coalition government, a new cabinet was announced recently. The new cabinet completely shifts the balance of power to President Felix Tshisekedi after he appointed new ministers to positions that were until recently held by Joseph Kabila’s allies.

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Among the notable changes is the appointment of Antoinette N’Samba Kalambayi as mining minister. Known as a civil society activist, very little is known about Kalambayi and, if in fact, she has any experience in the mining sector.

While Tshisekedi strengthens his grip on power in the DRC, the question must be asked: Is Kalambayi the right person to lead a ministry that holds so much importance in the country. Some might argue that a new broom sweeps clean while others might say it is a setback for a country that ranks low on the investor attractiveness scale.

I guess only time will tell. Share your thoughts and comments by mailing me at gerard.peter@clarionevents.com.

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