“Why Can’t I Find It?”

Abstract

This research focuses on foreign intervention in the mining sectors of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), concentrating on the transparency of agreements and regulation, or lack thereof, contributing to the longevity of mining practices and the livelihoods of local citizens. The current state of public information regarding natural resource extraction in both countries creates questions about state motives and investors’ economic incentive, with consequences of inequality, human rights offenses, and underdevelopment. Applying Immanuel Wallerstein’s world-systems theory, I describe the economic rationale behind global involvement in the region’s mining operations and identify potential power imbalances. I use commodity statistics, state documentation, and nongovernmental reports to analyze reporting trends on mining operations. Intergovernmental databases with development statistics also contribute to the research. In this study, I argue foreign intervention in underdeveloped, mineral rich countries does not have to be a purely exploitative relationship as emphasized by Wallerstein’s theory, demonstrated through the implementation of international transparency initiatives. These programs, implemented for the benefit of the resource abundant countries like Zambia and the DRC, can increase the accountability of governments and investing companies related to mining activities. Complete reporting on natural resource extraction increases investment values and the development and productivity of the mining industry.

https://doi.org/10.17161/1808.26396
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