Technologies and work regimes

Over the past decade, artisanal and small-scale mining in the Eastern part of the DR Congo has undergone an unprecedented technological revolution, with the use of machines such as ball mills, motor pumps and dredges, and new techniques such as cyanidation. In a FWO-EOS funded research, carried out in 2021, a team of CEGEMI researchers has studied different dimensions of this “technological transformation”. Their findings have been gathered in a series of working papers published by IOB, University of Antwerp.

Philippe Dunia Kabunga and Sara Geenen have written on : « Transformations technologiques et régimes de travail dans l’EMAPE au Sud-Kivu, RDC ». They find that technological transformations create space for new tasks and specializations, such as the processing of tailings, but they also render some actors superfluous. Thus, they present opportunities for some, and losses for others. The introduction of machines and new processing techniques affect the organization of working time and space as well. In addition, it triggers a transition to wage labour and concentration of financial capital, which increasingly replace the production-sharing arrangements previously in place. Finally, it strengthens the position of mining cooperatives. The full working paper (in French) can be accessed here.