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Formalisation initiatives for small scale mining: status quo and empirical analysis for Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC


  • Jan Lenard Rother
  • Heike Y. Schenk-Mathes
  • Jan-Martin Köckemann


In countries of the Great Lakes region in Central Africa, which are rich in natural mineral resources, small scale mining could contribute to economic welfare and poverty reduction. However, the omnipresent linkage of regional minerals with war and violence causes the buyer side to introduce precautionary measures as the Dodd-Frank Act. These, in turn, lead to either low price for Central African minerals on the international market or even a de facto embargo of minerals originating from the Great Lakes region. We analyse whether formalisation initiatives like the introduction of obligatory tagging systems or voluntary certification programs could mitigate these problems. In a survey carried out in 2012 and 2013 in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we find evidence that formalisation does not impair productivity and may improve safety conditions, whereas income related aspects seem to depend on national and regional conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Lenard Rother & Heike Y. Schenk-Mathes & Jan-Martin Köckemann, 2016. "Formalisation initiatives for small scale mining: status quo and empirical analysis for Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC," African Journal of Economic and Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(4), pages 318-342.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ajesde:v:5:y:2016:i:4:p:318-342

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