By: Miriam Mannak
The global economic crisis has caused the collapse of the local mining industry in the Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa. The region relies heavily on mining and since September 2008 when global demand for natural resources plummeted and prices fell to all-time lows, 300,000 people have lost jobs and another 60,000 may soon lose their jobs too. The Congolese franc, the local currency, has also lost half its value, seeing an increasing number of children and beggars on the streets. MONUC, the local UN mission has been wary of security issues surrounding the crisis, and the region has recently seen an increase in violent crime. The mining crisis is beginning to affect other businesses in Katanga as well.