President Tshisekedi Continues New Vision for DRC
by PD Lawton, 31 January 2024
“Always at the national level, there is the challenge of safeguarding our national cohesion, which can only be achieved by renewing and consolidating our collective desire to live, a collective desire to live in which the scourges of hatred will be banished, tribalism, clannism and all the anti-values that today undermine the development of our country, in short a desire to live together as a sacred value that we will bequeath whole to future generations.”- President Tshisekedi, inaugural ceremony for his second term in office, 20 January 2024
In 2003 the annual budget for Africa`s second largest country, a country the size of Western Europe, with a population of over 100 million, was US$ 3 billion. The DRC is considered to be the richest country in the world in terms of natural resources.
In 2018 it had risen to a paltry US$ 5 billion.
In his first 5 years in office, President Tshisekedi has more than tripled the budget. It is now in 2024, US$ 16 billion.
He has done this by re-negotiating taxes paid by mining multi-national corporations predominantly headquartered in London who have been getting away with murder, quite literally. And by securing Congo`s eastern borders and largely stopping the illegal flow of minerals into Kagame`s Rwanda.
In his inaugural speech, President Tshisekedi laid out the 6 objectives of his second 5 year term. The objectives are:
Increase employment. Create more jobs, by accelerating the promotion of youth entrepreneurship by diversifying the economy and giving access to local projects
Protect the purchasing power of households by stabilizing the exchange rate of US dollar and Congolese franc
To ensure the security of populations and their property within the national territory by restructuring the security apparatus; territorial integrity. As Tshisekedi said: the only real enemies of Congolese are insecurity and poverty.
Pursue the diversification of the economy and strengthen its competitiveness by mineral/raw material processing and value addition in agriculture. To end export of raw materials. Value addition in agriculture ; process products such as tea and coffee and maize into finished goods for export. Increase production of rice. Become food self-sufficient. Development of the agricultural value chain
Infrastructure development. Building new roads for all 45 districts. Strengthening provincial government by assisting in construction of provincial government offices. Opening up the national territory with infrastructure;
Ensure more access to basic social services: electricity and potable water. Effectively strengthening public services. Improving the sanitation of cities.
In a SABC interview, Vice Prime Minister Jean Pierre Bemba commented on the strengthening relationship between South Africa and the DRC in terms of energy, infrastructure and agriculture investments. He stated that peace and stability will be achieved in the eastern provinces within a year.