College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

International Studies


Sicomines, mutual benefit, soft power, resource for infrastructure, mineral exploitation


Over the past 10 years, China has become a major actor in African politics and development process. It has invested significant amounts of money in infrastructure in mineral-rich countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. In return, China secures the exploitation of main resources, necessary for its own economic development, such as cobalt and copper. In 2007, a consortium of Chinese enterprises signed a ‘resource for infrastructure’ agreement with the Congolese government. The parties agreed that China would export and sell Congolese cobalt and copper and, in return, China would build a number of infrastructure projects in the Congo. To guarantee reimbursement of Chinese loans, a Sino-Congolese joint venture was created in the Katanga province where the mines are located. This thesis aims at contributing to the discussion regarding the agreement’s impact on living conditions in the Congo. To what extent does China's Chinese investment and the mineral exploitation in the Democratic Republic of Congo benefit the country? I look at internal and international debates around the agreement and works done so far by China and the joint venture in the Congo to assess the impact of the agreement.