I must admit I thought Democratic Republic of Congo president Felix Tshisekedi played a wildcard when he appointed Antoinette N’Samba Kalambayi as the country’s new mining minister.
After all, questions have been asked about her experience and whether she is the right person to head up such an important ministry. However, speaking at the opening of DRC Mining Week Online event this week, Kalambayi gave an indication that she might indeed be the right person for the job.
With a strong focus on socio-economic development, she outlined a political agenda based on five key pillars. These are the certification of mineral resources; the valuation of mining assets in the country; the fight against fraud in the sector; the eradication of child and pregnant women labour at artisanal mining sites; and adding value to the country’s mining products through beneficiation.
She further stated that the government is committed to forming mutually beneficial partnerships with mining companies but at the same urged them to respect the laws in place, particularly with regards to their commitment to local communities.
It may be early days yet but Kalambayi seems to be on the right trajectory and could very well be the person to help the DRC finally reach its true mining potential.
Do you agree?
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