Customary Authorities and their Impact on the Political Economy of the Artisanal Mining Sector in Eastern DRC

Published in: Annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference

In Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) customary authorities have varying roles related to tenure rights, and in particular access to land and mineral resources. This presentation draws on two case studies to illustrate differences in how customary authority impacts the local mining economy and the establishment of conflict free minerals supply chains in the DRC. This includes access to mineral resources, investment and related impacts for conflict free sourcing initiatives.

The first case study focuses on Walungu Territory, where the traditional authority owns the rights over land. The second case study focuses on Mwenga territory where traditional authorities do not have rights over land.

The impacts of these two different models of customary authority on the artisanal mining sector and land use/access will be discussed, including implications for policy, investment and the establishment of conflict free minerals for the DRC.