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Isidore Kwandja: « is the DRC ready to host the Games of La Francophonie in 2021? »




[VIEWPOINT] – According to the latest news from the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), the Permanent Council is meeting at the beginning of this week to prescribe the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to host the Games. the Francophonie in 2021.

As a reminder, two Canadian provinces members of La Francophonie, New Brunswick and Quebec, were competing to host the 9th edition of the Games of La Francophonie. It was New Brunswick that was chosen and finally gave up organizing them because it is too expensive.

In accordance with the OIF Applicant Guidebook, the basic financial framework is set at a minimum of € 10 million ($ 15 million) for the Games of La Francophonie. But even the organizers of the OIF are very aware that it is impossible to hold an event of this magnitude with a budget of 10 million euros.

Estimated costs for New Brunswick in 2015 were $ 17.5 million. A few years later, costs skyrocketed from $ 17.5 million by the time New Brunswick’s bid was accepted to $ 130 million in 2018, before being revised to $ 62 million in 2019. Quebec, which at one point wanted to take over, before giving up, estimated the costs at $ 52 million.

Studies show that most of the countries hosting major sporting events of international scope have seen their spending budget explode significantly and far exceed the budget announced when applying.

However, for the Games to be successful, it is clear that at least three conditions must be met, namely substantial financial means, sports and hotel facilities, and of course popular support in the host country.

In my humble opinion, taking into account the cost-benefit ratio, not only the rushed organization of the Games of La Francophonie by the DRC in 2021 is not a good financial operation, all the conditions listed above will not be met. to ensure that the Games proceed satisfactorily, while ensuring adequate protection of the athletes’ health and safety. It would be better if the DRC passes its turn, given the tight schedule and the risk of causing significant cost overruns.

Indeed, according to concordant sources that we interviewed within the Organization, it seems that the DRC has proposed tens of millions of dollars to host the Games of La Francophonie in 2021.

As the other said, the President of the Republic is not a magician to know everything. This is why he surrounds himself with advisers who must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the various scientific fields as well as the political, economic and social life of the country, to help him make informed decisions. They must exercise critical judgment and careful analysis of all proposals made to the president, in order to avoid making quick decisions.

The last Games of La Francophonie held in 2017 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, had hosted 3,500 participants. President Alassane Dramane Ouattara and former Secretary General of La Francophonie Michaëlle Jean set the bar high by organizing the exceptional Games in the history of La Francophonie. This great success is a success shared by the Ivorian authorities and the administration of Michaëlle Jean in the field of youth, which no one can deny or ignore.

Welcoming the Games of La Francophonie is a heavy responsibility that requires careful preparation and a major challenge for a country that does not have enough sports facilities to properly host such international competitions. Moreover, the country is still without a legitimate government, six months after the elections.

For the moment, it would be wise for the OIF to entrust the holding of the 9th edition of the Games of the Francophonie to a member country which already has adequate sports facilities, but also hotel facilities that will allow hundreds of young French-speaking athletes to be able to compete safely. As was the case in 2010 with the Francophonie Summit, initially planned for Antananarivo, and which was finally organized in Montreux in Switzerland.

Even bigger, there are many examples that countries are no longer scrambling to host the international games, because the return on investment is uncertain. This is particularly the case in Stockholm, Krakow and Lviv, which had renounced the organization of the Winter Games in 2022.

Candidates for the organization of the Olympic Games 2024, Rome, Boston, Hamburg and Budapest preferred to give up the lack of support from their populations who considered the project too expensive for less financial benefits. Candidate for the organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2026, Calgary has also given up hosting the Games for the same reasons.

If the DRC wants to apply to host the Games of the Francophone, a new call for applications will be launched next November for the 10th edition in 2025. During this time, it can begin construction and renovation of sports infrastructure and seriously prepare to welcome athletes in optimal conditions.

The DRC has many other national priorities that require financial means and special attention from the President of the Republic. Anyway, Felix Tshisekedi is not engaged in a race against the clock to catch up any delay. To want to go too fast, one risks to obtain the opposite effect to that expected.

Isidore KWANDJA NGEMBO, Political scientist

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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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DRC: two prerequisites for a good national normative system!



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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