2018: Year of the Acceleration of the Modernization of Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines SA)

The 2017 financial year has just ended with the concrete materialization of an awaited commitment: the inauguration, on 22 December 2017, of the modernized registered office of Gécamines (http://Gecamines.cd) in Lubumbashi, in the presence of the highest State authorities and institutions, led by the President of the Republic, His Excellency Joseph Kabila Kabange.

This inauguration, a symbol of the transformation that Gécamines has been undergoing for some years under the auspices of its Board of Directors, presented the opportunity for its Chairman, Albert Yuma Mulimbi, to draw up an objective and uncompromising report on the activities of the company and to announce the major projects and challenges which await Gécamines for 2018.

1. Benefits Below What Was Promised

Finding that the overwhelming majority of partnerships which management has been entrusted to external partners by Gécamines present negative results, do not generate any dividends, and thus do not contribute to national development to the extent expected, Gécamines initiated, between 2015 and 2017, a series of audits of its partnerships with the help of leading international firms. The initial results of these audits reveal that they were managed at the expense of Gécamines, often through unacceptable accounting and management practices. Gécamines cannot content itself with such a situation for longer.

In 2018, Gécamines therefore intends to initiate a frank discussion with its partners and, as needed, demand a clarification of the agreements in place.

Furthermore, Gécamines is attentively following the discussions currently taking place in Parliament on the reform of the Mining Code of 2002, whose stated objective is to rebalance the sharing system of the mineral wealth of the DRC, one of the most advantageous in the world for investors. As a recent report of a financial backer in effect noted, the boom of the natural resources sector from 2007 benefited more to foreign investors than to the State and local producers, the choice to have recourse to multinationals operating in the formal sector thus not having generated the economic outcomes expected. It is now clear that the generous provisions of the Mining Code of 2002 do not allow the DRC to fully benefit from its abundant natural resources.

2. Redesigned Mining Partnerships

In the future, Gécamines intends to break with past schemes that do not fulfill their initial objectives, contrary to the content of the studies produced at the time.

Gécamines has thus chosen to follow a subsidiarity principle. It will only form partnerships for the operations that require the contribution of third parties and that will allow it to maximize industrial or financial return. Two innovative partnership schemes are currently the subject of pilot projects with leading partners:

  • A time-limited partnership scheme (also called “BOOT”), based in particular on (i) the recovery of an operational and modern production tool at the end of a period agreed in advance, (ii) a more egalitarian distribution of shares, (iii) a real and increasing implication of Congolese executives in the steering of the project and (iv) an effective distribution of subcontracting in the best interest of the Congolese economic structure.
  • A mining production sharing scheme, inspired by the oil industry, thus allowing Gécamines to benefit directly from a part of the mining production, regardless of the financial results of the partnership, so as to guarantee to the Congolese that their wealth will effectively benefit them.

3. A Necessary Modernization of Gecamines

The desired transformation will only be able to bear fruits if Gécamines itself plays its role in the modernization effort that has been initiated. Between 2015 and 2017, Gécamines commissioned from various international consultant firms an audit of its industrial apparatus as well as an organizational audit.

The initial results of these audits are unquestionable: (i) its production apparatus, due to a lack of necessary investment over various decades, has become obsolete, uncompetitive and, often, inefficient and (ii) its industrial and institutional structure is no longer adapted to the reality of a globalized industry. Here again, Gécamines has been resigning itself before the magnitude of the task to be completed for too long. This situation can no longer persist.

As such, Gécamines has taken various strong decisions, including (i) the closure of its obsolete and dangerous sites, (ii) in the short-term, the concentration of its activities on its most profitable sectors, (iii) the investment in the certification of its reserves to prepare the future, which had not taken place for 25 years and (iv) the completion of a bankable study for the creation of a new plant.

Finally, the work conditions and methods within Gécamines must be revisited. Gécamines thus decided to initiate (i) a progressive modernization of its facilities, of which the inauguration of its registered office in Lubumbashi is only the first step, (ii) an organizational transformation so as to convert Gécamines to the best standards of the international mining industry, (iii) a global personnel training plan on the latest technological, legal and financial developments, unprecedented in the recent history of the company.

Gécamines intends to reclaim its destiny. As the Chairman of Gécamines emphasized, in the name of the Board of Directors, only the reconstruction of a strong national mining actor will be able to transform the wealth of the Congolese soil into wealth for the Congolese people.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Gécamines SA.

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GÉCAMINES (http://Gecamines.cd) is a private law commercial company, leading player in the mining sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Source:: 2018: Year of the Acceleration of the Modernization of Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines SA)


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African Union Mission in Somalia’s (AMISOM) future in Somalia

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) began withdrawing some of its troops, as part of a reformulated exit strategy, in December 2017. The mission has faced uncertainty regarding both its future and funding ever since the European Union capped troop allowance stipends two years ago. This decision widened a rift between AMISOM and its partners over the mission’s achievements and progress, while also leading to the development of a tentative plan to exit from Somalia in 2020.

This View on Africa briefing is presented by Omar S Mahmood, Researcher, ISS Addis Ababa. He will discuss AMISOM’s continued funding concerns, and provide an update on its drawdown and withdrawal process.

Date: 10 January 2018
Time: 11:00 to 12:00 CAT (09:00 to 10:00 GMT)
Venue: Online via VoiceBoxer and in Pretoria

About View on Africa
Every Wednesday from 11h00 – 12h00 CAT (09h00 – 10h00 GMT), ISS researchers from Dakar, Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Pretoria provide expert analysis of major events and trends in Africa. Introductory remarks are followed by an online Q&A with participants.

How to join the briefing

Attend the briefing in person or online via VoiceBoxer on your computer or mobile device. To join the briefing online, simply click on the link above, follow the on-screen instructions and select your language preference. Before joining the briefing online, be sure to test your system settings by clicking on this link https://portal.voiceboxer.com/check/audience.

For VoiceBoxer system requirements and troubleshooting,
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Source:: African Union Mission in Somalia’s (AMISOM) future in Somalia


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Minister for Foreign Affairs on the Appointment of Ambassador to Zimbabwe

Minister for Foreign Affairs on the Appointment of Ambassador to Zimbabwe:

Today I announce the appointment of Ms. Bronte Moules as Australia’s next Ambassador to Zimbabwe, with non-resident accreditation to Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, and Zambia.

The appointment comes at an important time in Zimbabwe’s political development. As a long standing friend of the people of Zimbabwe, Australia encourages its transition to an inclusive, peaceful, constitutional democracy. We look forward to developing our economic engagement in response to strengthening of rule of law and a more open and market-based investment environment.

Australia enjoys warm relationships with Malawi and Zambia as fellow members of the Commonwealth. Our private sector engagement, especially in mining, is growing in all countries to which Ms. Moules is accredited.

Ms. Moules is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Deputy High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea. In Canberra she has held a range of positions including Assistant Secretary, Executive Branch and Assistant Secretary, International Organisations Branch. Overseas, she has served as Ambassador to Myanmar and Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Bangkok.

Ms. Moules holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University and a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade.

I thank outgoing Ambassador Suzanne McCourt for her contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Zimbabwe and countries of accreditation since 2015.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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Source:: Minister for Foreign Affairs on the Appointment of Ambassador to Zimbabwe


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Sudan – Immediate safety concern for a Darfurian student detained incommunicado in unknown location for two weeks

The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) is seriously concerned for the safety of a Darfurian student who has been detained incommunicado and without charge for two weeks by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in Khartoum. No reasons were given for his arrest in December and he has been denied access to his family and/ or lawyer. The authorities must immediately take measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the Darfurian student and order his immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international standards.

On 24 December 2017 at 1 pm, Mr. Mahmoud Hussain Omer, a law student at the Al-Nilien University in Khartoum from Kabkabia, North Darfur state, was arrested by members of NISS at the gate of the University. Mahmoud Hussain was severely beaten by the members of NISS during his arrest.

ACJPS is deeply concerned for the safety of Mahmoud Hussain who has now been detained incommunicado without charge and without access to his family or lawyer for two weeks and whose whereabouts remain unknown.

The lack of access to lawyers and family members of the detainees, together with the well-documented use by the NISS of torture and other forms of ill-treatment against detainees, particularly whilst held in unknown locations, gives rise to serious concerns for their safety. Incommunicado detention significantly enhances vulnerability to being subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.

In another incident, ACJPS was informed that on 22 August 2017, members of NISS arrested Mr. Nasreldin Mukhtar Mohamed, the former chairperson of the Darfur Students Association of the Holy Koran University in Omdurman. He was arrested at the gate of the university and then taken to the security detention centre in Khartoum North where he was held incommunicado for about a month. The authorities have only allowed two visits from his family since his arrest on 22 August 2017. The first visit was in October 2017.

During the last family visit on Friday 8 December 2017, his family noticed that Nasreldin Mukhtar had lost sight in his left eye and sustained severe injuries on his legs as a result of beatings by members of NISS.

Neither Mahmoud Hussain nor Nasreldin Mukhtar has been charged with a crime.

The National Security Act of 2010 (NSA 2010) grants the NISS wide powers of arrest and allows detention for up to four and a half months without judicial review, well in excess of international standards. The NSA 2010 also permits incommunicado detention without prompt and unequivocal access to a lawyer of one’s choice or the right to medical care. Sudan’s laws fail to provide adequate safeguards, permit arbitrary detention, and create an enabling environment for the perpetration of torture.

The authorities must guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the detainees and order their immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards or, if such charges exist, to bring them before an impartial, independent, and competent tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times. The authorities must also guarantee both detainees access to medical assistance required to ensure their physical and psychological well-being.


Although the formal charges are not known, the detentions are thought to have been made in connection with their involvement in the Darfur Students Association. Over the years, Darfuri students in universities across Sudan have encountered hostility from the Sudanese authorities. ACJPS has documented several cases of excessive use of force by security forces, arbitrary arrests and detention as well as torture and ill-treatment. The Government of Sudan has traditionally been hostile to Darfuri student associations organising at universities. They have been prevented, on occasion violently, for speaking out about issues related to fee waivers, expulsion of fellow students, among others.

On 18 May 2017, the NISS and a pro-government student militia raided a public forum at Wad Nobawe hostel which was organised to discuss the expulsion of seven Darfuri students from Al Azahri University after they participated in demonstrations on 15 May 2017 calling for the administration to adhere to the fee exemption provided for under the 2006 Doha Peace Agreement. The forces used tear gas to disperse the crowd and the students were beaten with sticks. At least ten students sustained injuries and were transferred to the hospital for treatment. Seven students were arrested and are detained incommunicado in an unknown location.

This incident occurred only four days after ACJPS document a
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Source:: Sudan – Immediate safety concern for a Darfurian student detained incommunicado in unknown location for two weeks


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