Mining & Business met with grand admiral BAUDOUIN LIWANGA MATA-NYAMUNYOBO, MD of Afridex. He talks about the role of his company and the new regulations on explosives.
Mining & Business: The mining industry in the DRC has talked a lot about Afridex in 2017. Could you tell us about your company?
Baudouin Liwanga: « African Explosives », has become a public service. Created by the statute on the 11th August 2011 by the Armed Forces of the DRC, AFRIDEX comes under the sovereignty of the State, as does the General Secretariat for Veterans Affairs or Military Justice. The Ordinance of 3 May 2017 is clear: AFRIDEX has the following missions and prerogatives, exclusively and throughout the country: the production of all civilian and military explosives or ammunition, weapons or other related products; carrying out all operations related to this activity; the conclusion of partnerships to improve its services, in return for a fee collected from users. The collection of taxes and duties on explosives transactions and thus bail out the state coffers. In short, AFRIDEX is the ONLY GATE OF ENTRY for explosives in our country.
M&B: What have you done since taking office?
BL: Since the 6th of March 2017, I have put in place the structures and directories of all companies producing and using explosives so that they can align themselves with the strict application of the new provisions. To make up for our outdated production facilities, we have signed agreements to create Sino-Congolese Explosives “SICODEX SA”. This will enable us to benefit from new technology in the large-scale manufacture and production of civilian explosives and their accessories.
M&B: What exactly is the explosives market in the DRC?
BL: Explosives are of paramount importance in mines, quarries and public works. Without explosives, you can’t build roads or mine copper and cobalt.
M&B: What is the future of the relations between AFRIDEX and the companies of the sector that have invested and produced in DRC?
BL: Our goal is to maintain cordial relationships with all users of explosives. AFRIDEX will cooperate with partners to cover the needs until it can do so on its own. Companies such as AEL (which represents a substantial market share) have complied with the provisions of the ordinance. They applied for a 5-year concession in a win-win partnership with AFRIDEX. On the other hand, other economic operators do not refer to AFRIDEX. They, therefore, expose themselves to the rigour of the law.
M&B: Thank you very much