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, using a critical approach. 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.

Since 2014 I have been codirector of the CEGEMI (Centre d’Expertise en Gestion Minière) at the Catholic University of Bukavu.

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 ran from 2018-2021. 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 was a collaboration between IOB University of Antwerp, KULeuven, Université Catholique de Louvain and Université de Namur. Together with doctoral student Simon Marijsse and a team of Congolese researchers we were researching the impact of technological transformations in artisanal and small-scale mining.

You can find my CV (updated 2022) here: CV Sara Geenen (2022)