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DRC: two prerequisites for a good national normative system!

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DRC: two prerequisites for a good national normative system!

Every October 14, the international community commemorates World Standards Day. The theme chosen for this year 2019 is: « Video standards create a stage open to the world ».

In the DRC, according to the Association for the Promotion of Metrology and Standardization, there is still a lack of a proper national standard-setting system. This is despite the fact that the National Standards Committee (NSC) adopted 98 new harmonized standards of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and a new national standard in 2016.

For the Association pour la promotion de la Métrologie et la Normalisation (APROMEN), two prerequisites are needed to talk about a good national standard-setting system in the country.

« DR Congo cannot optimally benefit from the advantages of the practice of Standardization due to the absence of a coherent National Standards System (NSS). This situation encourages the practice of arbitrariness and corruption while at the same time hindering national, regional and international economic integration and sustainable development, » notes Bertin Ntumba, President of APROMEN.

He takes his thinking further by linking the lack of standardization to the Antonov crash that caused the death of the Head of State’s logistics staff.

According to him, « I see the negative effects of the absence of a rational normative practice in the DRC. With the crash, we inevitably ask ourselves questions: Did the pilot fly according to the standards? Is the airport concerned built and operated to standards? Was there an overload on the plane? Have the weather requirements been taken into account? « .

Questions that show that compliance with standards can prevent and avoid accidents.

It is up to him to add, « without benchmarks (standards) the country gets lost. It is unfortunate that standards are often mentioned only when there are disasters! Where are the national standards in the DRC? Who establishes them? How are they established? The rational practice of standardization is a pillar of economic integration and sustainable development, this expert believes. »

And he proposes the strict observance of these two prerequisites to build a National Normative System worthy of the name in DR Congo:

First of all. A vast campaign to raise awareness and mobilize the National Community on the importance of standardization for development through its stakeholders at all levels: Public Authorities, Civil Society (NGDOs, Consumer Associations, Orders, etc.), the Private Sector, Education, the research community, Conformity Assessors, etc.

Second of all. Relevant legislation on standardization: To ensure that the universal basic principles of standardization are taken into account, including: broad consensus among community stakeholders, transparency, neutrality, openness and relevance in the standards development process.

This World Standards Day is therefore an opportunity for the leaders of the three major standardization organizations, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to deliver a message to the international community.

A message that pays tribute to the efforts of thousands of experts around the world who develop voluntary technical agreements, published as international standards.

Through the chosen theme, « video standards create a stage open to the world », these three Leaders wanted to point out that all the technological advances that have made it possible to rapidly improve the quality of video, fostered its accessibility for all and ensured that the entire world enjoys it are based on international standards.

Standardised video compression methods, the result of internationally recognized joint work by IEC, ISO and ITU, demonstrate the essential role of standardization in enabling industry to meet ever-increasing demand in the video segment, one of the most bandwidth-intensive applications on global networks.

Thanks to internationally recognized and applied standards around the world, videos encoded on one device can be played back by another, regardless of the device used. The economies of scale created contribute to market growth, providing confidence for those seeking to innovate and invest in new video services and applications.

In addition to revolutionizing the entertainment industry, technological advances in video have brought us closer to our families and friends around the world, enriched our communication experiences and advanced medicine and education.

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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