The Democratic Republic of Congo's Mineral Dependency

Open Access
Author:
Fry, Jaime Lynn
Area of Honors:
Economics
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • David Shapiro, Thesis Supervisor
  • David Shapiro, Honors Advisor
  • Bee Yan Roberts, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • natural resources
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • economic growth
  • Zaire
Abstract:
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s economy is irrevocably connected to the nation’s rich endowment of natural resources. However, instead of promoting economic growth, the minerals have created a “paradox of plenty” which fosters corruption, poverty, and conflict. From harrowing tales of hands being chopped off of corpses during the colonial rubber regime to “blood diamonds” fueling an African World War in the late twentieth century, the nation has been unable to escape the resource curse. From the time that the Congo region was colonized by Leopold II, the nation has faced economic instability, political upheavals, and bloody uprising all tied to the nation’s abundance of resources and a quest for ownership and control over key minerals.