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China in Africa: The Real Story

China and Conflict Minerals in the DRC

Deborah Brautigam

OK, it's not really all about China, but an excellent analysis, "What's Wrong with Dodd-Frank 1502?" commissioned by the Center for Global Development and written by Laura Sesay, Congo expert, professor, and aka blogger "Texas in Africa" uncovers the pitfalls of (ineptly) trying to legislate good things for the conflict torn eastern Congo. From the abstract:
Although its provisions have yet to be implemented, section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is already having a profound effect on the Congolese mining sector. Nicknamed “Obama’s Law” by the Congolese, section 1502 has created a de facto ban on Congolese mineral exports, put anywhere from tens of thousands up to 2 million Congolese miners out of work in the eastern Congo, and, despite ending most of the trade in Congolese conflict minerals, done little to improve the security situation or the daily lives of most Congolese.

In this working paper, sponsored by Todd Moss, Laura Seay traces the development of section 1502 with respect to the pursuit of a conflict minerals-based strategy by U.S. advocates, examines the effects of the legislation, and recommends new courses of action to move forward in a way that both promotes accountability and transparency and allows Congolese artisanal miners to earn a living.
H/T to Duncan Green, at Oxfam UK's "From Poverty to Power" blog.