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DRC: Auditions of former Minister Oly Ilunga, transparency or political settlement?

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DRC: Auditions of former Minister Oly Ilunga, transparency or political settlement?

The former Minister of Health, Dr. Oly Ilunga and three members of his cabinet including a driver, were interviewed a few hours ago by the judicial police, on the management of funds for the fight against the virus disease Ebola. According to sources familiar with the case, the former minister and his co-defendants were either to be released or to be transferred to the prosecutor’s office after 48 hours of police custody.

Some time later, the public learned that those arrested for a simple hearing continued their detention in the dungeons of the judicial police in Kinshasa. And according to their relatives, no grievances are held against Oly Ilunga and company.

Some analysts believe that since his resignation, Dr. Oly Ilunga, like his entourage, has been under continual pressure against a background of varying motives. « What began as a complaint by a ministry official, dissatisfied with being removed from the ministry’s activity monitoring unit, quickly changed without transition into a fund management case for the fight against Ebola. A management whose real grievances are still looking for, presenting all the aspects of a folder scraped without proof or consistency « , murmurs one.

A fuzzy soap opera
On Tuesday, August 28, phone calls came from everywhere, seeking to know if it was true that the former minister of health was auditioned at the level of the public prosecutor’s office at the Court of Cassation. At the end of the day, it was impossible to contain the rumor.

« The various officials and sources close to the investigation had no other information than the confirmation of the hearing of Dr. Ilunga and his peers. As for the contents of the file, a total blur. Some redirected us to the police chief of the city of Kinshasa. And for them, it was necessary to contact the spokesperson of the police. Obviously, this story was a hot potato that no one wanted to clutter, « said a close to the former minister.

Who is the complainant? What is the reproach to the former minister? At present, it is impossible to specify. And yet, in the corridors, some admit having been pressured from above. Some people, it seems, would like to settle the accounts with Oly Ilunga by making him an « example », with the ultimate goal of sending him to prison. They forget, however, that we must start by building a file. What some people would do.

A state affair
« We have learned that for weeks, high-level circles would propose to human rights activists to seize the file on the basis of reports by them established, on the management of the Ebola virus epidemic in Beni or in Goma (North Kivu). In short, it scrapes again and again, in search of an element that could serve as a basis to justify a visibly premeditated action, « said a close friend of the former minister.

The information from circles close to the case provide information on the nature of the questions, which go as far as to ask about the expenses of the order of 600 dollars (US dollars six cents). Or on the mission order signature. Yet inspectors have had the department’s accounting records for weeks.

Would it have been decided to start an investigation and go so far as to call an ex-minister without evidence? Would it have gone so far as to deprive Congolese citizens of their liberty beyond the statutory deadlines for ulterior reasons?

The investigation continues
Some indiscretions give information on the probable descent of the inspectors on the ground to continue the investigations in particular on the work of the teams. An excellent initiative that remains nonetheless, especially as we know that no investigation was ever undertaken after the CTE attacks, even after the assassination of the Cameroonian doctor.

« Finally, Ebola in the DRC is only a question of money. And besides, since the investigators seem to look, it would be interesting that an independent international investigation be conducted, especially since some donors are very enthusiastic about this idea, to the point of proposing to finance it. But you have to have the courage to initiate it. A question of money, actually. Since it seems that we only talk about this during the interrogations that extend all day long. It is played to wear. In the meantime, those of our brothers who have no other nations than the DRC are dying in Beni or Goma, far from all, even far from those responsible for the response, « surprised a close to the accused.

Some sources indicate that coordination meetings in Goma are held less and less.
The fight against corruption is one of the main objectives of President Felix Tshisekedi. And this is understandable to the extent that the country has suffered for a long time, and continues to suffer.

Olivier KAMO

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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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