By Fidel Amakye Owusu
1. The United Arab Emirates has emerged from a desert economy to one of the most economically diverse states in West Asia.
2. This transformation has been phenomenal and attracted a lot of praise for the leadership and uniquely progressive environment it has created.
3. At the centre of this transformation is the focus of human development. The country has built modern educational facilities while investing massively in its human capital. With a relatively low domestic population, it has attracted foreigners some of whom have had their capacities built.
4. And so what?
5. In the last decades, the Gulf State has shown interest in Africa as its economy expands. It has shown interest in the natural resources of the continent, including its soil. It has farms producing grains in Sudan.
6. The current news that the country has signed a mining contract worth $1.9 billion with the Democratic Republic of Congo brings to the fore how such partnerships could shape the latter.
7. How?
8. The deal will see a partnership that will see the development of not less than four mines in two provinces including the restive South Kivu region. While t  particular minerals involved have not been disclosed, the vast resources of DRC are well-known.
9. Late last year, a deal between the two countries gave the sole rights to export some minerals mined by artisanal means in the country. 
10. While these deals may have other details not made public, it is important for the UAE to encourage and support Kinshasa to focus on the human development of the people in the country, especially in mining areas.
11. This could grant long-term benefits the companies involved and the UAE -Africa economic relations. Currently, the human development of the people of DRC is among the worst in the world. It ranks just above Afghanistan in the global human development index. The mining ( artisanal) has many children involved—they do not get an education.
12. This together with widespread violence could put any form of investment at risk no matter the level of physical security provided to companies on the ground. A burgeoning youthful population that is uneducated could not be controlled forever.
13. The UAE has the leverage and responsibility to ensure that its presence in the country becomes a blessing to the people. Encouraging the building of schools, hospitals, and research facilities as it has been efficiently and effectively done in Dubai and Abu Dhabi could be great.
15. A win-win investment must go beyond the elites of host countries.
16. Many more…

By Fidel Amakye Owusu – International Relations and Security Analyst and Writer

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