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China – DRC: a win-win partnership dedicated to intensification!

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China - DRC: a win-win partnership dedicated to intensification!

Since Mobutu’s visit to China in 1973, ties between the two countries have always existed despite the eclipses of unrest and war. And it was in 2005 that the partnership was refreshed again. The China-DRC partnership is very different from the one that this country has with the West, based on the will of the country of Mao Zedong to play the leading roles in the reconstruction of the country of Lumumba. It is established in several sectors: economic, infrastructure, health, education, technology. Zoom Eco looks back at these different sectors.

In the economic sector, a larger project, the Sino-Congolese partnership is established first in the mining sector. Indeed, China is attracted by the cobalt of the DRC. Cobalt, a copper-derived ore, is coveted for the manufacture of rechargeable lithium batteries. These batteries are necessary for the operation of electric cars and smart phones, of which China is the largest producer. There are at least 37 mining companies in DR Congo where Chinese interests are represented.

Trade has also become increasingly intense between the two countries. Even if commercial operations remain unbalanced for the benefit of China especially since the DR Congo exports nothing substantial in terms of value-added products to China.

In the infrastructure sector, several works of the DRC are executed by Chinese citizens. This is the case of the triumphal boulevard, the Sino-Congolese cooperation hospital, the fiftieth anniversary hospital, and roads of national interest and agricultural service. It is true that observations have been made on the quality and soundness of certain works produced in the context of cooperation. But this would be the responsibility of the contractors shared with Congolese authorities.

Regarding health, in addition to health infrastructure, China is also involved in equipment. This is the case recently with the donation of 60 tons of medical equipment and materials donated for the fight against Ebola.

In the education sector, every year China offers scholarships. And the number of scholarships China grants to the DRC has increased from 50 to 83 for the academic year 2019-2020. This makes the DRC the second largest recipient of scholarships on an African scale.

As for the technological news, for the third time, 10 winners selected among the young Congolese talents are beneficiaries of the Huawei RDC Young Talent Development Program named « Seeds for the Future ». This two-week training with the best Chinese technicians is a project initiated by Huawei since 2008, it provides training for ICT students around the world and aims to develop local talent in the field of ICT.

In the service sector, every year journalists and other people from other sectors receive training for nearly a month at the expense of the Chinese government. This, to strengthen their capacity in specific areas.

What does China gain from this partnership?
In return, China is gaining the raw materials it needs for the production of electric cars, smart phones and other value-added products that it is number one in the world. And this partnership is bound to be consolidated in accordance with the diplomatic vision of the new head of state, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi.

Nadine FULA

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DRC: USD 100 million for the construction of the major cultural centre for Central Africa

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DRC: USD 100 million for the construction of the major cultural centre for Central Africa

Prime Minister Ilunkamba has just authorized, on Monday, October 14, 2019, the Minister of Urban Planning and Housing Then Mwabilu and the Minister of State for International Cooperation Guillaume Manjolo to sign two orders.

This, after his visit to the site where the great Cultural and Artistic Centre of Central Africa will be built as well as the INA Buildings, the National Institute of Arts, where he ordered the resumption of work.

DRC: USD 100 million for the construction of the major cultural centre for Central Africa

The first decree concerns the postponement of the decree of 14 October 2016 and the second concerns the decommissioning of a portion of land in favour of Sino-Congolese cooperation.

The Chinese company BEIJING URBAN CONSTRUCTION GROUP is in charge of building this large Centre for 30 months. The cost of the work is estimated at US$100 million.

After this visit to the field, the head of the Ilunga Ilunkamba Government himself presided over the signing ceremony of these two ministerial decrees for the implementation of the Chinese government’s donation to the DRC.

 

There was talk of ending the superposition of orders first by repealing the one that granted the same concession to Richesse Taylor.

DRC: USD 100 million for the construction of the major cultural centre for Central Africa

It should be noted that the cultural and artistic centre, one of the largest in Central Africa, will constitute, according to the Minister of State for Cooperation Guillaume Mandjolo, an innovative source for the public treasury and restore the DRC’s position as a leader in the world of African culture.

This large Centre will be located between the triumphal boulevard and Assossa avenues, a few metres from the People’s Palace.

The construction of this important cultural building includes the large 2,000-seat theatre, the small 800-seat theatre, meeting rooms, the gymnasium and a car park.

Nadine FULA

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DRC: in 2020, Goma will host the « NiNyumbani » development fair

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DRC: in 2020, Goma will host the "NiNyumbani" development fair

The capital of North Kivu province will host in 2020, a development fair entitled: « NINYUMBANI », which means « at home » in Swahili. It is the initiative of a young native of Greater Kivu, Marc Lanoy Kasongo, entrepreneur and founder of OPLUS, a communication, marketing and advertising company.

« NiNyumbani » is an event that brings together different decision-makers from the DRC and the Great Lakes Region around reflections aimed at a clear and achievable future.

It is a platform whose mission is to create a common front against the many challenges related to unemployment, education, access to electricity and water, as well as agricultural and road infrastructure.

This exhibition, which is part of a community development process, is organized once a year around a central theme on which different themes focus on economic opportunities and emerging concerns in the region in order to propose practical solutions that can be applied at cost, in the medium and long term.

This activity is expected to welcome 500 exhibitors from different fields of activity; among others, economic operators, entrepreneurs, state institutions, banks, start-up managers, incubators, civil society and universities, opinion leaders, etc.

In addition to exhibitions, the programme also includes conferences.

DRC: in 2020, Goma will host the "NiNyumbani" development fair« This fair is also being set up to give a new image to our Dear City of Goma and the long-suffering province of North Kivu, whose image is being tarnished both inside and outside the country. We want to demonstrate here the potential of our province, and what we can bring to the development of our country, » explained Marc L. Kasongo, who is in Kinshasa for contacts around the organization of this major Rendez-vous.

To him he added, « we also want to give everyone, whatever their social rank, the opportunity to come and present their products and services, because we aim for development at the grassroots level. NINYUMBANI is our common home, » added the initiator of the activity.

For Marc Lanoy Kasongo, several results are expected from this exhibition.

The aim is to propose solutions to the fundamental development challenges in Greater Kivu and the DRC; to propose new business, industry and investment opportunities and strategies in Greater Kivu and the DRC; to create partnerships between stakeholders; to connect decision-makers in the sub-region; and to create a practical solution through work.

This exhibition, whose date remains to be determined, can only be possible thanks to the contribution of the Congolese, from which Marc Kasongo solicits the involvement of the authorities and mainly the Head of State, who has made the promotion of youth his main concern.

Harris KASONGO

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Global: Global value chains have stimulated growth but the momentum is running out of steam!

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Global: Global value chains have stimulated growth but the momentum is running out of steam!

The World Bank Group published a new report on October 8, 2019 in Washington, D.C., USA. This World Development Report 2020 focuses on trade for development in an era of globalized value chains. It details strategies that will enable developing countries to improve their performance for the benefit of their populations by undertaking reforms that will stimulate their participation in global value chains.

The paper highlights that global value chains or GVCs can continue to stimulate growth, create better jobs and reduce poverty, provided that developing countries undertake deeper reforms and that industrialized countries implement open and predictable policies.

It clearly shows that in an era of globalization, companies can no longer do everything, they specialize and no longer have to produce the entirety of a good on their own.

This book assesses the contribution of VCMs to growth, employment and poverty reduction, but also to inequality and environmental degradation. It also explains how national policies can boost trade growth and ensure that VCMs participate in, rather than oppose, sustainable development. It identifies the shortcomings of the international trading system that have led to dissension between countries, and proposes a roadmap for addressing them through enhanced international cooperation.

This report reveals that it is no longer so obvious today that trade remains an engine of prosperity, this World Bank report points out. Since the 2008 global financial crisis, trade growth has been sluggish and VCM expansion has slowed. The last decade has not seen transformative events comparable to those of the 1990s. Here we are referring to the integration of China and Eastern Europe into the global economy. Two factors are at the root of this slowdown. First, the introduction of labour-saving technologies such as automation and 3D printing could bring production closer to the consumer and reduce the demand for labour both within and outside countries. Secondly, trade conflicts between large countries could lead to a contraction or segmentation of VCMs.

According to this report, global value chains have a positive impact on development.
First, they increase productivity and growth: a 1% increase in participation in global value chains is estimated to increase per capita income by more than 1%, almost twice as much as the gains induced by traditional trade. In Ethiopia, companies engaged in these globalized sectors are twice as productive as their counterparts operating in traditional trade.

Second, they reduce poverty: since the impact of the rise of global value chains on economic growth is greater than that of trade in finished products, their impact on poverty reduction is also greater. Countries such as Mexico and Viet Nam, which are more actively involved in global value chains, have achieved better results in the fight against poverty.

Third, they improve the quality of jobs: firms operating in global value chains attract labour to more productive activities in manufacturing and services, and generally employ more women, thus contributing to the structural transformation of developing countries.
In addition to these positive effects, however, it is noted that VCMs can also have negative effects on the environment. The main environmental costs for VCMs are related to the growth in trade in intermediate goods, and the increase in distances travelled, compared to traditional trade. Their effects include increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with transportation (compared to traditional trade) and excess waste.

Nadine Fula

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