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Centre of Development Studies


Disrupted Development in the Congo: The Fragile Foundations of the African Mining Consensus

By: Dr Ben Radley (Bath)

Bio: Ben Radley is a political economist researching mining, energy, and labour in the context of green transitions, with a regional focus on Africa. Prior to joining the University of Bath, he held academic posts at the International Institute of Social Studies and the London School of Economics. He's on the editorial board for the Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE), and is an affiliated member of the Centre of Mining Research at the Catholic University of Bukavu, DR Congo.

Abstract: Since the turn of the century, low-income African countries have undergone a process of mining industrialization led by transnational corporations. The process has been sustained by an African Mining Consensus which holds that mining industrialization should be led by the superior expertise and efficiency of transnational corporations. Disrupted Development in the Congo reveals the fragile foundations on which this Consensus rests. Through an in-depth case study of mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the book details how foreign corporations have been prone to mismanagement, inefficiencies, and rent-seeking, and implicated in fuelling conflict and violence. It also documents how structural impediments to the transformative effects of mining industrialization in low-income African countries occur irrespective of ownership and management structures. Based on the findings presented, Radley urges a move away from the market-led logics underpinning the Consensus. In the mining sector itself, he argues that efforts to mechanize labour-intensive forms of local mining better meet the needs of low-income African economies for rising productivity, labour absorption, and the domestic retention of the value generated by productive activity than the currently dominant but disruptive foreign corporate-led model.


Tuesday, 27 February, 2024 - 17:00 to 18:30
Event location: 
SG1/2, Alison Richard Building