Industrial open pit cobalt mine in the DRC

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The DRC has abundant natural resources—including copper, cobalt, lithium, oil and gold—with many of its minerals needed for the energy transition.

Photo by Fairphone for Flickr
Photo by Fairphone for Flickr

Despite the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s mineral wealth, the majority of its citizens live in poverty. Governance of its extractive sector is weak and characterized by opacity and corruption—from licensing and contract negotiations to trading and exports. NRGI works with Congolese oversight agencies and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the DRC to strengthen their capacity to mitigate governance risks. NRGI also supports the government to implement its new, stronger anticorruption framework.

The quickening energy transition is a promising opportunity for the DRC, offering new means to fund economic and social development. To maximize the value of the Congo’s transition minerals, officials plan to produce batteries within the country, in cooperation with neighboring Zambia. But the time to maximize opportunities is limited, and the government and industry players must act quickly. Learning from the past, strengthening cross-ministerial cooperation, and addressing key transparency gaps in the extractive sector are crucial steps. NRGI works with authorities to achieve better coordination and dialogue between ministries, and to develop a clear and coherent national energy transition plan.

Artisanal miners in the DRC

Resource Governance Index

The RGI assessed the governance of RDC's mining, and oil and gas sectors.