Deconflicting Minerals with Charter Cities in the DRC
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has some of the largest deposits of the critical minerals cobalt and tantalum in the world. These critical minerals are necessary for many of the products that North American and European Union (EU) high-technology companies produce. However, the supply chains of these critical minerals are threatened by geopolitical competitor nations like the Russian Federation (Russia) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), both through the physical presence of these competitor nations in the region of central Africa, and through over concentration of supply chains in the hands of these competitor nations. The dangers to the supply chains of critical minerals, which are currently for the most part routed from African nations through competitor nations before reaching the United States, can be significantly reduced by relocating the refining and processing of these minerals to the DRC. Relocating these industries to the DRC will improve and diversify the DRC’s economy and help in the process of deconflicting minerals. This relocation can be best managed through establishing a charter city in a relevant province. Establishing such a city would have the added benefit of increasing Congolese state capacity, technology transfers, and knowledge spill overs, thereby increasing the DRC’s ability to resist unwanted influence from competitor nations.