About me

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI studied Contemporary History and Conflict and Development at the University of Ghent. In 2007 I started working at the Institute of Development Policy (IOB) at the University of Antwerp, an inspiring working place where ‘development’ is studied as a patchy and dynamic, multi-level and multi-actor process. Together with my PhD supervisor prof. Stefaan Marysse, I started working on the political economy of the mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Between 2008 and 2012 I have done (mainly qualitative) field research in Bujumbura (Burundi), Uvira, Bukavu, Kamituga, Luhwindja, Mukungwe, Lugushwa, Butembo and Bunia (DRC). On May 5th, 2014 I successfully defended my PhD ‘Qui cherche, trouve. The political economy of access to gold mining and trade in South Kivu, DRC’. Enjoy the Prezi presentation here.

Between October 2014 and September 2018 I was on a postdoctoral fellowship with the Research Foundations Flanders, studying Transnational companies and local politics. Hybrid governance in mining concessions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Ghana.

In October 2016 I was appointed as a lecturer in International Development, Globalization and Poverty at the IOB. I started to work on new research on Linkages from large-scale mining (FWO KAN) and Labour in the extractive industries. The FWO research project InForMining. An in-depth study of informalization processes in global gold production runs from 2018-2020. Together with postdoctoral researcher Boris Verbrugge and doctoral student Maria Eugenia Robles Mengoa we combine a mapping of global trends in gold production with case studies on Colombia, the Philippines and the DRCongo. The FWO EOS project Winners and Losers from globalization. Insights from micro-data is a collaboration between IOB University of Antwerp, KULeuven, Université Catholique de Louvain and Université de Namur. Together with doctoral student Simon Marijsse I am researching the impact of technological transformations in artisanal mining.

I am teaching courses on Global Organization of Production: Value Chains and Labour, Access to (Labour and Product) Markets, Participatory methods and Qualitative Data Analysis at IOB. I am also teaching at the Catholic University of Bukavu in the DRCongo.

I have been appointed, together with my colleague prof. An Ansoms from UCL, as director of ECA-CREAC, the expertise center for Central Africa which aims at spreading knowledge about Central Africa and providing a platform for exchange among academics, policy makers, civil society and private sector. In Bukavu I am leading a project, together with my Congolese counterpart Paul Robain Namegabe on mining governance, the CEGEMI (Centre d’Expertise en Gestion Minière).

You can find my CV (updated 2017) here: CV Sara Geenen (2017)