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Title: Exploring the socio-economic role of the petroleum refining industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo : a case study of the Congolese Company of Oil Refining Industries (SOCIR)
Authors: Kikasu, Tanzala Eustache 
Issue Date: 2017
Constant change through global competition, technological advances and socio-economic improvement, permeates the contemporary environment in the world including certain African countries. Oil refineries are in constant progress with regards to modernisation and development. Many oil refineries all over the world are operating according to the expected scope of oil products to be produced and supplied, in line with the objectives of meeting domestic and international demand. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has one oil refinery only named Congolese Company of Oil Refining Industries (SOCIR), which has become less productive, uncompetitive, inefficient and unable to achieve its socio-economic roles or goals of supplying the country with oil products and of contributing to national socio-economic development.

This study aimed to explore the socio-economic role of the petroleum refining industry in the DRC, through the case study of the SOCIR. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the factors affecting the socio-economic development in the DRC; identify the challenges experienced by SOCIR in the macro-environment; and explore the socio-economic effects the upgrading of SOCIR could have on the socio-economic situation in the DRC.

In order to achieve these objectives, the study was undertaken as a quantitative survey combined with qualitative in-depth interviews to provide better understanding of the information obtained from the survey. The quantitative study was conducted on administrative personnel, academics, students, and public and private participants involved in the oil and gas industry in the DRC. Hundred participants were selected for the quantitative survey and five in-depth interviews were conducted to discuss the findings and results obtained through the quantitative study. The macro-environment variables of the PESTIE model were used to accomplish the aim and objectives of this study.

The result of this study revealed that most factors affecting the socio-economic development of the DRC are related to the PESTIE instabilities, lack of economic diversity and constant national and regional ethnic or armed conflicts that are fuelled by multiple interests linked to natural mineral resources. The ageing of SOCIR infrastructure, the lack of financial capital and the lack of investments for human capital development were identified as the main challenges experienced by SOCIR.

Furthermore, it was highlighted that if SOCIR upgraded with new efficient processing technology, it could increase its capacity of production, contribute on reducing the effects of total dependency on imports of all needs for petroleum products and prevent the country from exporting the total oil output, contribute on supplying the country with sufficient quality and quantity of clean oil products, and promote the oil and gas industry development and integration. The results of this study also indicated that SOCIR development could play a key role leading to economic diversity and growth with direct, indirect and induced impacts of massive job creation and contribute on reducing unemployment, poverty and inequality of many Congolese which are living under the poverty datum line.

The study revealed that the outcome of the oil and gas industry integrated and developed through SOCIR modernisation strategy could steer the socio-economic change and transformation in the country. It is recommended to the government of DRC to constantly review, monitor and implement policies and regulations that could promote the oil and gas industry development in the country. The results of the study should also influence policy-makers and decision-makers on formulating innovative and creative policies, setting programmes, methods and interventions, which will enable the development of the oil and gas industry.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Masters: Public Management, Durban University of Technology, Durban, south Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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