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DRC: SOSIDER, agents have more than 14 years of salary arrears!



DRC: SOSIDER, agents have more than 14 years of salary arrears!

Maluku Steel Company agents and managers have 177 months of salary arrears, a delay of 14.5 years. A situation with negative consequences on the lives of these agents: several of them died without being able to benefit from their due. Others of retirement age cannot retire for lack of severance pay.

All these complaints were presented to their guardian, the Minister of Industry, Julien Paluku KAHONGIA during an interview they had on Wednesday 25 September 2019 in Maluku.

These agents, the majority of whom have already aged, have a hard time understanding the indifference of a state that relegates industrial development, which is nevertheless beneficial for the emergence of the national economy, to second place. They have not gone in four directions to let the Minister of Industry know, « for several years, the State has not thought of clearing these wage arrears. We dare to believe that with the new leadership at the head of the country and at the Ministry of Industry, our situation will be resolved. All agents and managers hope that with the establishment of a new government, the wage situation will be improved, » said Mutombo Sonsola, chairman of SOCIDER’s monitoring committee.

Attentive to the wishes of these state employees who seem to be losing hope, Julien Paluku promised to present the problem of SOSIDER to the Council of Ministers on Friday 27 September. For him, pleas will be made at several levels.

Sensitive to these cries of distress, the Minister of Industry promised to look for partners ready to help this Congolese state-owned industry to recover. The Maluku steel plant is the only steel plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A story that may fade away

With the planning of the Inga Dam in 1963, Italian investors thought they could create an industrial development pole for the Congolese domestic market. It was then that a national company was created on 28 March 1972. The National Steel Company, to process Banalia’s iron ore and produce 250,000 tonnes of semi-finished products, such as reinforcing bars, small sections, cold-rolled raw sheet, galvanized sheet and corrugated sheet. The industrial complex would have cost nearly 1.5 billion French francs between 1965 and 1975.

The Congolese State, the owner, entrusted the ownership of the equipment to the public company National Steel (SIDERNA). The Maluku plant was opened in 1974. In 1976, it developed and two cities of 1300 houses were built in its surroundings. The Société d’Exploitation Sidérurgique (SOSIDER) was created to operate this steel complex. SOSIDER was a semi-public company 50% owned by the Congolese State, 25% by the German group Finsider Demag and 25% by the Italian group Consortium Italipianti.

This white elephant only functioned for 5 years, at 10% of its capacity. From 1974 to 1976, the cold treatment plant had a capacity of 150,000 tonnes per year for the manufacture of sheet metal.

In 1980 the hot treatment plant had a capacity of 100 tons of concrete reinforcement and profiles production per year. The latter continued to operate without real production until 1988. In 1985, various development convention funds tried to relaunch the plant, but without success.

On Friday, October 19, 2012, the Congolese government signed a concession contract in Kinshasa with the American company Global ITCM to relaunch Socider. The Minister of the Portfolio at the time, Louise Munga, explained that through this concession, the « Congolese State is disengaging from the Maluku steel complex in favour of Global ITCM, which will have to operate it for twenty years« .

With an investment of US$100 million, the American company Global ITCM was responsible for rehabilitating, modernizing and operating the Socider for twenty years. After this period, the Congolese government should recover this steel company.

This has given workers hope again. Unfortunately, to date, American operators have made the company sicker than before.

Currently, their only hope is the political will visibly demonstrated with the new leaders at the head of the country.

Olivier KAMO

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



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



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.


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



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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