Monday, 27 June 2016

The Democratic Republic of Congo: Fighting Tooth and Nail

The Democratic Republic of Congo: Fighting Tooth and Nail
Having endured conflict and civil discord in the past, a new era of development and success could see the Democratic Republic of Congo become one of Africa’s economic giants in the future. Nestled within Central Africa, the DRC, one of the continent’s largest democracies, has relished tremendous economic growth over the past three years. Under the leadership of President Joseph Kabila, the once war-afflicted nation is now becoming a shining example of prosperity.

Slowly but surely Congo is recovering, as a giant who is waking up after a long sleep," President Joseph Kabila has said. The DRC is a vast country with enormous economic resources and, until recently, has been at the centre of what some observers call "Africa's world war", with extensive civilian suffering the result. Dissected by the Equator, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), formerly called Zaire, is the third largest country on the African continent.

In the soil of the DRC lies extensive mineral treasure. Of course Mining in the DRC is full of returns. Transparency has greatly improved. Investors must still address human capital issues and management. But an anxious and interested labor force is willing to learn. Equipment, know-how and capital are the inside track for investors. Copper grabs the news limelight but value opportunities exist in diamonds, gold and manganese. The DRC is among the world’s largest producers of cobalt, copper, diamonds, tantalum and tin, as well as several other minerals. President Joseph Kabila is committed on increasing mining and oil production in the country. Scaling up such efforts require investment in regions far from Kinshasa. Another gold mine in this country with more than 75 million people is telecom. But this gold mine has not been fully tapped yet. Estimates have mobile penetration rate slightly above 25 percent.

President can remain in the office
The Constitutional Court has said that President Joseph Kabila can remain in office when his mandate expires at the end of 2016, even without being re-elected. The ruling was handed down in answer to a request from the ruling party amidst mounting tension over the government's failure to set a date for the next elections, originally due in November this year before Kabila's mandate ends. President Kabila, who took over Democratic Republic of Congo on his father's assassination in 2001, is constitutionally barred from running for a third term. He won successive elections in 2006 and 2011. Today's ruling followed an appeal for clarification over Kabila's fate should the polls fail to be held on schedule before the end of his term, as is extensively expected. The court grounded its answer on article 70 of the constitution declaring that a president remains in office until the next head of state steps in. President Kabila has been under pressure from the international community to stick to the election schedule, while the opposition suspects he is planning to amend the constitution to extend his rule.

President’s debatable plan to amend the constitution and stretch his rule has been perceived to put an adverse upshot on this country.

We must have a good transport infrastructure. Even today, we've got people who produce food and it's thrown away because they can't get it to the market area. Slowly but surely Congo is recovering, as a giant who is waking up after a long sleep. H.E. Joseph Kabila President of Democratic Republic of Congo Read More...


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