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DRC: Tshisekedi, the mythical opponent of the Mobutian and kabilist regimes!

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[BIOGRAPHY] – Etienne Tshisekedi, whom some affectionately called « Ya Tshitshi », the father of democracy, the sphinx of Limete, was a great rallyer. A mythical and historical opponent. But who was he? What was his political background and impact on the DRC?

Étienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba, was born in Kananga on December 14, 1932, then Luluabourg in the Belgian Congo. He is the first law graduate in the country. Already in 1960, he was a member of the College of Commissioners-General, a provisional government set up by Joseph-Désiré Mobutu after a coup d’etat, as assistant to the Commissioner for Justice, Marcel Lihau.

Political career
Tshisekedi was first close to former President Mobutu between 1960 and 1965. Then, he opposed the dictatorial regime of Mobutu in 1980, when it weakened after the wars of Shaba (dismembered Katanga province). ).

In 1982, Tshisekedi is an initiator and one of the founders of the UDPS. With the advent of the democratic transition, he successively occupied the post of Prime Minister of Zaire from 29 September to 1 October 1991, from 15 August 1992 to 18 March 1993 and from 02 to 09 April 1997.

The advent of the AFDL with Mzee Laurent Désiré Kabila in May 1997 will not prevent him from continuing his fight for democracy. For having violated the decision of Mobutu’s rapper on the prohibition of the activities of political parties, Etienne Tshisekedi will receive, in 1998, an authoritarian sanction of the new President of the Republic. It will be his relegation to his home village in Kabeya Kamwanga with equipment and seeds to start farming.

At the end of the second Congo war (1998-2003), Étienne Tshisekedi, who has always advocated non-violent political struggle, refuses to participate in the transitional government and has since been playing the role of the irreducible opponent. Consequence: boycott of the constitutional referendum of 2005 and the elections of 2006.

What to understand that his opposition did not stop at the practices decried of Mobutu. It extended to those of Kabila’s father and son regime.

On December 23, 2011, after the presidential election, Tshisekedi who came second, claimed victory, and proclaimed himself President of the Republic to swear an oath from his residence in Limete Kinshasa.

The illness was right for this great politician. In July 2014, Tshisekedi left the DRC for Belgium for health problems. His medico-political exile ends in 2016 and he is greeted triumphantly by the people in Kinshasa.

It’s the eve of the elections. Political negotiations are linked to a second term of Joseph Kabila. With the failure of pre-negotiations with the presidential camp, Tshisekedi will refuse to participate in September 2016 in the national dialogue. It took the Congolese Catholic bishops to take the hand to finally accept to participate in direct talks with the Kinshasa regime.

The conclusion of the political agreement of the New Year’s Eve consecrates the appointment of Etienne Tshisekedi as president of the National Council of follow-up of the agreement (CNSA), charged in particular to supervise the smooth running of the electoral process in progress. Because, the presidential 2016 has been postponed.

Patriarch Tshisekedi dies on February 1, 2017 of a pulmonary embolism, without having been invested in his last functions.

Two years after his death, funerals worthy of his rank are organized. Congolese remember him as one who has long fought for democracy in the DRC.
His soul can finally rest in peace!

Nadine FULA

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DRC: the « education » project will be submitted to the WB Board of Directors in February 2020

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DRC: Education project to be submitted to World Bank Board in February 2020

The Government’s emergency project on free « Basic Education » will be submitted to the World Bank’s Executive Board in February 2020. According to the Vice President for Africa, Hafez Ghanem, preparations are being intensified to ensure that this deadline is met.

« We are working very quickly on this education project. And we plan to bring this project to our Council as early as February. Regarding the height of the amount, we are in the process of making evaluations. It’s going to be a big amount, around a billion US dollars, » he told reporters at the end of his meeting with the Congolese delegation led by Finance Minister José Sele Yalaghuli.

Indeed, this emergency project is part of World Bank support for the Government’s efforts to provide free basic education, the implementation of which began last September.

To relieve the pressure on public finances to allocate at least US$25-37 million each month, the World Bank has pledged to support the Congolese Government in this regard.

https://twitter.com/Zoom_eco/status/1184909044315758593?s=20In line with the commitment of the Head of State, Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, and the President of the World Bank, David Malpass, the Minister of Finance, José Sele Yalaghuli, has clearly indicated the Congolese Government’s firm desire to see the process speed up so that funds are released within an acceptable time frame.

« This is the right time for the partners of DR Congo to match the real political will of the Congolese national executive to meet one of the aspects of the World Bank’s mandate, namely: the fight against poverty, » he said at a previous meeting with the World Bank delegation led by Jean-Christophe Carret.

With regard to the health coverage programme, Hafez Ghanem reiterated his institution’s commitment to continue working alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly in the fight against Ebola.

 

He added: « We will also work with the Government on a new health programme to strengthen basic health centres and improve access to health across the country. »

However, he gave no indication of the amount of funding for this health programme, especially since it is currently under study.

As a reminder, the delegations of DR Congo and the World Bank held a working meeting on Thursday 17 October 2019 in Washington DC. Experts from both sides, led by José Sele Yalaghuli and Hafez Ghanem respectively, reviewed ongoing projects within the World Bank portfolio and those under preparation.

In addition to education and health, projects related to infrastructure, connectivity (roads) and the digital economy were also discussed.

Eric TSHIKUMA, from Washington

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DRC: the three axes of the Accelerated Programme to Combat Poverty and Inequality

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DRC: the three axes of the Accelerated Programme to Combat Poverty and Inequality

The President of the Republic launched his Accelerated Programme to Combat Poverty and Inequality in Kinshasa on Wednesday 16 October at the site of my valley in the commune of Mongafula.

This Programme aims to ensure that twenty million Congolese living in rural and peri-urban areas in the 145 territories of our country leave poverty or extreme poverty within the next 5 years.

It has three components: improving rural and peri-urban populations’ access to basic socio-economic infrastructure and services; promoting rural and peri-urban economies; and building capacity in managing for development results at the national, provincial and local levels.

The first component aims to increase the population’s access to basic services such as housing, electricity through the promotion of micro hydroelectric power plants, drinking water, health and agricultural access roads. This list is not exhaustive.

The second component aims to ensure that people in villages and peri-urban neighbourhoods have improved and stable sources of income and that they consume at least one balanced meal per day. This component will place particular emphasis on promoting inclusive agricultural sectors.

The third component aims to develop a culture of autonomy, which will result in the appropriation of development by the beneficiary populations, the strengthening of self-esteem, meritocracy and a motivated attachment to their living environment.

Substantial resources for this ambitious program!

« The Programme, the main components of which I have just unveiled, requires ambitious funding over several years, » said Félix Tshisekedi, aware of these challenges. In the face of such an ambition, the Head of State asks the Government to spare no effort to explore all possible avenues likely to provide the means for this saving action for the people.

It is with this in mind that the last Council of Ministers adopted the hypothesis of a budget reaching the 10 billion mark.

In addition, Félix Tshisekedi intends to engage the country in far-reaching reforms ranging from the rebuilding of the state with justice as the epicentre to the sectors of national life.

This is how he makes his main focus the fight against anti-values, particularly corruption, embezzlement of public funds, tax fraud, smuggling and tribalism. And all means will be used to ensure that all State revenues are channelled into the Public Treasury.

Finally, to make this programme a success, the President of the Republic is counting on the involvement of all his compatriots, beyond the divisions.
political.

Harris Kasongo

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DRC: Economic and financial situation at the heart of a meeting at the World Bank

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DRC: Economic and financial situation at the heart of a meeting at the World Bank

The economic situation in DR Congo is the focus of a meeting on Thursday 17 October 2019 at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington DC. The Minister of Finance, José Sele Yalaghuli, leads the delegation of Congolese experts.

In his presentation, the national silversmith described a macroeconomic framework for DR Congo that has remained stable.

Despite accumulated deficits of 420 billion Congolese francs at the end of September 2019, domestic prices and the exchange rate fluctuated slightly. And at this rate, the Government reports inflation of 4.2% at the end of December 2019, which is below the 7% end of period forecast level.

Referring to the strategic and political orientations of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Minister Sele Yalaghuli cited in particular the tightening of public spending in order to limit deficits and the subscription of treasury bonds with the ambition of mobilizing 150 billion CDF by the end of 2019 to fill the gaps.

The first results are promising, especially since a small monthly budget surplus was recorded at the end of September 2019.

Moreover, added Sele Yalaghuli, the third orientation concerns the Government’s firm commitment to pursue the implementation of reforms with the support of partners to remove obstacles sector by sector and to be able to remedy them.

With regard to cooperation between the Congo DR and the Bretton Woods institutions. After the break-up of the formal programme with the IMF in 2012, the ongoing recovery strategy of the current discussions is based on two options.

First, the interim program. Then, the formal program. If the first one will cover the preparation period of the second one, the conclusion of the formal programme could take place after the third quarter of 2020.

« This is the right time for the partners of DR Congo to match the real political will of the Congolese national executive to meet one of the aspects of the World Bank’s mandate, namely: the fight against poverty, » José Sele Yalaghuli said, addressing the World Bank delegation led by Jean-Christophe Carret.

With the World Bank, experts from DR Congo are working on preparations and options to initiate disbursement of funds for the Government’s priority sectors on are: basic education and universal health coverage.

This interaction with World Bank teams continued, with Hafez Ghanem, Vice President in charge of the Africa region, as the focus.

Eric TSHIKUMA, from Washington DC

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