News / Africa

DRC Probes $88M in Missing Mining Revenue

Processing facilities at Tenke Fungurume, a copper and cobalt mine in the DRC's copper-producing south. Government officials are trying to trace millions in missing revenue that mining companies paid to a Congolese tax agency.
Processing facilities at Tenke Fungurume, a copper and cobalt mine in the DRC's copper-producing south. Government officials are trying to trace millions in missing revenue that mining companies paid to a Congolese tax agency.
Nick Long
Anti-corruption investigators in the Democratic Republic of Congo say they can't trace more than $88 million that mining companies paid to a government revenue agency.  
The investigation has been carried out by the Congolese branch of a global anti-corruption watchdog, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
EITI’s Congolese experts say they've been trying for six months to trace $88 million that mining companies paid to a Congolese tax agency called the DGRAD. They say the DGRAD has still not provided any proof that the money was paid to the national treasury.
The DRC planning minister has promised a judicial enquiry.
The $88 million gap in the public accounts, coupled with smaller amounts that have also gone missing, could mean that the DRC’s bid for full membership of the EITI is suspended. That could make it more difficult for the DRC to obtain loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which last year suspended a $225-million program with Congo, citing lack of transparency in the mining sector.
The EITI secretariat, which is based in Europe, says that since last year the DRC’s new government, led by Prime Minister Matata Ponyo, has been working closely with the EITI and is trying hard to account for revenues and to expose mining contracts to public scrutiny.
"We indeed understand that the prime minister’s government is very supportive of the EITI," said Tim Bittinger, a spokesperson for the EITI. "The government has put a substantial budget at the disposal of the EITI process, and there have been several government-led meetings on how to reform the mining and oil sectors and the EITI has figured prominently in reform discussions."
Bittinger noted that Prime Minister Ponyo has asked EITI to extend the scope of its investigations and to look at how revenues from the mining sector are spent, as well as how they are collected.
He said this demonstrates a political will to reform the sector, which was already evident even before the IMF suspended its Congo program.

The EITI board will have to make a decision this week on whether or not to declare the DRC an EITI compliant country, a test the country has already failed twice.  But Bittinger suggested that whatever decision is made, the DRC’s reform drive in the mining sector is likely to continue.
"Whatever happens at that level we see substantial momentum and drive in DRC," he said. "We are not sure a decision either way will stop that drive which is quite impressive, and we very much welcome the improvements we have seen over the past years."
That view is echoed by Elizabeth Caessens, an independent expert on mining and governance in the DRC. Caessens, who works for the U.S.-based Carter Center, wrote recently that the DRC government has made substantial efforts to disclose information on its mining sector.
She said there are doubts about one particular mining deal in which a state-owned concession may have been sold for $60-million less than its real value, but that many other deals have been exposed to scrutiny with the publication recently of more than 100 contracts.
Those contracts include some large deals with Chinese mining companies that were previously kept out of the public eye.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: David from: Washington DC
April 17, 2013 5:06 PM
DRC's Government should deal with engineering and construction companies.

by: Bertin MM from: Cape Town, SA
April 16, 2013 11:50 AM
The Mining sector in the DRC needs a clear reform and a change in the central government in order to have transparency in all the mines in that country. So many contracts are signed in abstracts. There is need for reform, reform and reform again in all sectors. DRC is becoming a such hell if no intervention is made immediately. This is true view.

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs