The African countries are wonderful tourist spots with famous heritage sites. However, they are also home to many scandalous events and incidents that make people shy away from visiting the spots. The term geological scandal was coined by Belgian geologist Jules Cornet in 1892 during an expedition in Katanga, a mining province of southern Democratic Republic of Congo. He is said to have exclaimed: "Katanga geologic scandal!
[...] However, despite this very positive phenomenon about the usefulness of having abundant natural resources, we must also see the disadvantages or damage that may represent such major geological scandals for the country that comes as a part of the greed to develop and take advantage of the situation. II) The "geological scandal": a heavy burden to bear? It is worth recalling the observation made in the introduction. Ironically, African countries have many mineral resources and are generally less advanced than others in their development of economic or social policy. [...]
[...] For example, South Africa produces three fourth of platinum in the world. More striking is the presence in Africa of 80% of known reserves of coltan or columbite in the world (including 80% in the DRC alone!). This rare metal used in high technology products including aerospace and weapons and this explains why the Pentagon is monitoring the operations in this region very closely. The "geological scandal" is therefore a boon for developing countries where the exploitation of these resources is one of the largest financial windfalls. [...]
[...] In trying to attract investors with attractive tax exemptions, African states reduce their source of profits as income from the operation becomes much less than the shortfalls. For example, during the first three years, the exemptions can represent up to 70% of revenues from mining. But African states have little choice other than to grant warrants for foreign companies operating as they are often incapable of safeguarding the operation of a mine and coordinating the efforts and offering security. In addition, there are many other negative economic impacts caused by the exploitation of resources both in terms of employment of industry personnel do not come from the mining regions and the staff consists of only 10% women) in terms of displacement of people. [...]
[...] Thirdly, in the political field, areas of geological scandals often prove to be politically unstable areas because of the greed for resources. Even within countries, there are numerous rebel groups seeking to have the monopoly on resources and their exploitation by subtracting the central authority. This causes real civil wars or armed conflicts of interest where local populations are the first to suffer. This gave way to a militarization of the farms that are run by rebel military groups, or by companies authorized but with a military protection to prevent rebel attacks. [...]
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