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Challenges impacting oil and gas industry development in the Democratic Republic of Congo

EUSTACHE TANZALA KIKASU, NIRMALA DORASAMY

Abstract


Oil and gas as well as other natural mineral resources production, if processed locally, can contribute to helping the Democratic Republic of Congo to diversify the economy and improve the lives of the poor through increased investment in physical socio-economic infrastructure development. This paper explores the challenges affecting the oil and gas industry’s development in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A mixed methods approach facilitated this study to achieve a clearer view of both the quantitative and qualitative data obtained from various respondents. The PESTIE model was applied for this study in order to gather community and different actors’ perceptions of the challenges affecting Congolese Company of Oil Refining Industries (SOCIR: Société Congolaise des Industries de raffinage) , as well as the entire oil and gas industry’s development in the country. This study was proficient in revealing the key challenges affecting socio-economic development in the DRC, which are similar to those affecting the oil and gas industry on the African continent. Various factors have affected SOCIR and the petroleum industry development in the DRC. The strong political pressure exerted by the consecutive ruling governments, the lack of public capacity to enforce policies and regulations that support socio-economic activities and the lack of financial capital capacity were indicated amongst the most critical challenges affecting SOCIR and the entire oil and gas industry in the DRC. As a result, the PESTIE factors of the business environment were considered to be the most critical causes of SOCIR and socio-economic crisis in the DRC. 


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