State Building and Mining Sector in Angola and Mozambique

French Institute Seminars in Humanities (FISH)
19 June 2014

14:00 – IFAS Conference Room, 62 Juta Street, Braamfontein


Mathias de Alencastro
University of Oxford

In this presentation, we maintain that despite the emergence of a new politico-administrative reality in Angola, after the civil war, former authorities continue to dominate power negotiations at the regional level. A detailed analysis of the way non-state agents exercise their authority in the long term, makes it possible to have a better grasp of the complexity of State building in Angola.

Studying the mining sector is a starting point for analysing the historical path of the State in the Provinces of Lunda Sul and Lunda Norte, which are rich in diamond. In these provinces, the State has entrusted mining companies with development responsibilities since the beginning of the effective occupation, while maintaining political authority.

This rather unconventional State building process, which has outlived many ideological and institutional changes, is at the origin of the novel government methods of the Lunda Provinces and their special relationships with the central Government. To conclude, we examine how pertinent the approach used in State building, from the viewpoint of mining companies, would be for the Province of Tete in Mozambique.


Mathias de Alencastro is a Brazilian and Portuguese researcher, specialised in the political economy of mining resource governance in Mozambique and Angola. He is soon to defend his thesis in Political Science at the University of Oxford entitled “State Building on the Outskirts of Angola: Diamond Companies 1917-2002”. He is also interested in Brazilian mining companies present in Africa. He has taken part in many conferences and seminars and will publish the results of his thesis sometime this year.