African Resources Watch (AFREWATCH) is a non-governmental organisation which was established on 5 December 2013 following years of social degradation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). AFREWATCH was established by a multidisciplinary team of experts whose goal was to guarantee transparency in the extraction of natural resources in Africa as a means of ensuring socioeconomic development of the people of Africa.
AFREWATCH is committed to ensuring an equitable distribution of natural resources and redistribution of wealth generated in both Africa and the DRC to contribute towards the socioeconomic development of people in Africa.
Project title: Capacity building of local communities and environmental and social justice
One of the projects currently underway resulted from recommendations received from different reports published by ONGs in the Katanga Province underscoring the dicothomy between the increase in metal prices and the worsening of the socioeconomic situation of the Congolese communities notwithstanding the affected communities’ lack of participation in discussions on the management of natural resources. It goes without saying that local communities experience first-hand the negative effects of mining investment projects.
This exclusion is primarily explained by the local communities’ lack of knowledge and necessary capacities regarding their rights which form an integral part of businesses’ obligations involved in the extraction of natural resources. Through means of this project, AFREWATCH is able to engage in capacity building with local communities living in close proximity to the mining companies in Kolwezi. The first phase of this project was successfully executed in February 2015, and should be completed by December 2015. Following its completion, the project seeks to establish follow-up committees in each of the local communities identified by the project. The committees aim to set up a platform for direct discussions and negotiations with key actors in development which will include mining companies and public institutions.
Based on the objectives assigned and followed, by the end of the first phase of the project, the below outcomes has been achieved:
- 30 people of which 21 women and 9 men were trained in key areas for capacity building of local communities. The training focused on the basic principles of human rights, community rights and the obligations of mining companies, recording human rights violations, along with avenues to seek legal recourse in instances of human rights violations; and
- The establishment of a committee composed of local communities in the mining town of Luilu whose primary objective is to follow up on the implementation and recommendations of this workshop. This committee is currently finalising the administrative formalities before obtaining official legal status.
For more information on the activities and its results, click here.
- Emmanuel Umpula Nkumba, Directeur Exécutif