Ein Film von Katja Becker und Jonathan Happ (2016) in Zusammenarbeit mit dem vom BMBF-geförderten Forschungsprojekt AFRASO –"Afrika's Asiatische Optionen" (http://www.afraso.org). Wissenschaftliches Konzept: Diderot Nguepjouo und Jürgen Runge
Over the last decade, Cameroon’s artisanal and small-scale mining sector has gone through several mutations thanks to the new policy which has attracted various international investors from Asia, Africa, Europe, and America. As from 2012 on, the involvement of Chinese entrepreneurs has dramatically accelerated the pace of progress in the sector. Some of them switched from other economic activities they were already pursuing in the country whilst the others, mostly mining professionals, moved from the Ghanaian gold mining business to Cameroon.
Chinese entrepreneurs have gradually become main players in the gold mining operations, recording successes, while other actors, e.g. Koreans, went bankrupt and in many cases have sold their business capital to Chinese without any competition.
Through taking over those projects coupled with their greenfield mining initiatives, Chinese investors has gained the image of successful businessmen in the sector. As a result, their working style and techniques are gradually being adopted by almost all local and foreign investors.
This is the context that spurred AFRASO researcher Diderot NGUEPJOUO together with the filmmaking crew UJUZI travel to Cameroon and shoot the 3rd AFRASO documentary. The film follows several active players in the major segments of the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) in Cameroon: a Chinese investor; local entrepreneurs (member of Parliament, businessman, and middleman); workers, small operators in “Nguéré”, civil servants as well as the affected communities on their working sites.
The film reveals that political elite and administrative authorities appear to favour the involvement of Chinese operators because they consider it beneficial to the State and local entrepreneurs (service providers, middlemen…), while traditional rulers and business people who did not partner with Chinese are less supportive of this presence.
Furthermore, the positive impacts resulting from gold mining are reported to be enjoyed by Chinese investors and some local entrepreneurs while the communities are left with the impact of these activities such as land disturbance, water pollution, diseases...
All in all, the movie tries to put forward the ongoing dynamics and contradictions that are taking place in the Cameroon's gold mining.