News / / 12.17.20

Economist: “Gold bars In Congo’s gold rush, the money is in beer and brothels”

It is not yet noon but the streets of Luhihi, a tiny town in eastern Congo, are already full of revellers. Men fall about outside bars filled with prostitutes. Gamblers hover over draughtboards. Music blares from a makeshift club near the river where miners sift through mud for gold.

The precious metal was found in Luhihi in May. Artisan miners came rushing in from far and wide. A street of pop-up bars, brothels, shops and gambling dens has sprung up to cater to them. Many of the entrepreneurs running such businesses rove from mine to mine, moving on when the minerals dry up or rebels march into town. For two decades dozens of militias have fought over gold, tin and coltan mines in eastern Congo…

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