SADC opens a Liaison Office in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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SADC committee 

On 16th April 2018, the Government of the Democratic of Congo (DRC) handed over office space to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to be used as the SADC Liaison Office in the DRC. The Office was officially opened by the Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, at a launching ceremony held on the same day. Mr. Jean-Pierre Kambila Kankwende, the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the President of the DRC, handed over the Liaison office keys to the SADC Executive Secretary and the Ambassador of the Republic of Angola to the DRC who was representing the Chair of the Organ. The ceremony was attended by SADC Ambassadors accredited to the DRC, Representatives of the Government of the DRC, Political Parties, Religious Organizations, Continental and International Cooperating Partners, Civil Society Organizations, and the media.

The office, which is located on 30 June Boulevard, in Gombe, Kinshasa enhances SADC presence in the DRC, and provides an avenue for closer collaboration with stakeholders in the DRC, in the continued efforts by SADC to support the DRC attain sustainable peace, security, political stability and thus, socio-economic development. Among others, the SADC Liaison Office in the DRC will serve to coordinate SADC’s ongoing political, electoral and security support initiatives in the DRC. The office will also enable SADC to identify specific areas where SADC support is required in liaison with the DRC Government, as well as national, continental and regional stakeholders in support of electoral, political, peace and security processes in the DRC.

In her remarks the Executive Secretary pointed out that, the objectives of SADC are to achieve economic growth and development, peace, security, poverty alleviation, the enhancement of the standard and quality of life of the people of Southern Africa and support the socially disadvantaged through Regional Integration. She also underscored that, while cooperating on, and supporting its Member States to consolidate democracy and the rule of law, SADC respects the supremacy of national constitutions and electoral legislation of its member states. Cooperation in the consolidation of democracy is guided by SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

The Executive Secretary commended the DRC government, political parties, the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), religious organizations, Non State Actors, and other stakeholders for their efforts and progress made in ensuring peace and stability in the DRC. She implored stakeholders in the DRC to refrain from any form of violence and find amicable ways of resolving their differences in order to create a conducive environment for the conduct of peaceful, free and credible elections in December 2018.Remarks by the SADC Executice Secretary-DRC Mission-Operationalisation of the SADC Office

Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax had led a delegation to Kinshasa, that comprised of SADC Secretariat staff and Senior Officers seconded by SADC Organ Troika Member States to operationalize the SADC Office in the DRC from 14th to 17th April 2018. The Mission was supported by SADC Ambassadors accredited to the DRC.

Source: https://www.sadc.int

Crise humanitaire en RDC: la Suisse débloque 12,5 millions de francs pour assister la population

BERNE, Suisse, 13 avril 2018/APO Group/ — La République démocratique du Congo (RDC) est frappée par l’une des plus graves crises humanitaires au monde. Le pays est aussi confronté à une épidémie de choléra. Des millions de personnes dépendent d’une assistance humanitaire. Les représentants de plusieurs Etats et des organisations humanitaires se sont réunis aujourd’hui à Genève pour soutenir la réponse internationale à cette crise. Il s’agissait de la première conférence humanitaire de haut-niveau consacrée à la RDC. La Suisse soutiendra les opérations d’urgence à hauteur de 12,5 millions de francs pour cette année.

La RDC traverse une grave crise humanitaire. Actuellement, 13 millions de personnes ont besoin d’une assistance, un nombre qui a doublé depuis l’année dernière. Les affrontements qui opposent les forces gouvernementales aux groupes armés ont provoqué le déplacement de 4,5 millions d’individus sur l’ensemble du territoire. La situation demeure volatile dans plusieurs régions du pays. La RDC fait aussi face à une sérieuse épidémie de choléra.

Pour répondre à l’ampleur des besoins, une conférence des donateurs a eu lieu aujourd’hui à Genève. Sous l’égide des Nations Unies, des Pays-Bas et de l’Union européenne, la rencontre visait à mobiliser 1,69 milliard de dollars. Il s’agissait de la première conférence humanitaire de haut niveau consacrée à la RDC.

La Suisse a annoncé une contribution de 12,5 millions de francs pour soutenir l’action humanitaire en 2018. Ce montant permettra d’appuyer les mesures de protection des civils et à leur donner les moyens de subvenir à leurs besoins en matière de soins, d’alimentation et de biens de première nécessité. La contribution de la Suisse permettra également de soutenir les communautés qui accueillent les personnes déplacées. La Suisse mettra aussi des experts du Corps suisse d’aide humanitaire à la disposition des agences onusiennes.

La Suisse a rappelé son fort attachement au respect des principes humanitaires et a demandé à toutes les parties de respecter le droit international humanitaire, garant de la protection des populations civiles.

La région des Grands Lacs est une région prioritaire de la coopération suisse. L’engagement humanitaire en RDC est ainsi complété par des programmes de développement à plus long terme. La Suisse y œuvre pour un meilleur accès de la population congolaise aux services de base, soutient le travail contre les violences envers les femmes, la formation professionnelle, le développement d’une économie locale et la consolidation des processus démocratiques. Enfin, la Suisse s’engage pour la promotion de la paix et le dialogue politique avec les autorités congolaises.

Distribué par APO Group pour The Federal Council, Switzerland.

The Department of Trade and Industry to Lead South African Companies to Defence Exhibition and Conference In Malaysia

The Department of Trade and Industry to Lead South African Companies to Defence Exhibition and Conference In Malaysia

The show will provide an ideal platform for South African companies in the defence and aerospace sector to showcase their products and services to significant industry players across entire global value chains

PRETORIA, South Africa, April 13, 2018/APO Group/ — The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will lead twenty-three South African companies to the Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference that will place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 16-19 April 2018.

The Defence Services Asia (DSA) Exhibition and Conference is a global defence and security show which occurs bi-annually. It is the most important defence and security industry event in the Asia region.

“The show will provide an ideal platform for South African companies in the defence and aerospace sector to showcase their products and services to significant industry players across entire global value chains. The participation from South Africa includes a diverse group of leading industries in research and development, procurement and acquisition as well as technology development,” says the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Bulelani Magwanishe.

Malaysia is one of the significant sources of foreign direct investment into South Africa from the South East Asia region

According to Magwanishe, the DSA 2018 augurs well for the industry as it provides potential market opportunities for exports as well as peer learning opportunities in a sector that is constantly changing. He also notes the critical role played by the defence and aerospace sector in the South African economy.

“Malaysia is one of the significant sources of foreign direct investment into South Africa from the South East Asia region and the two countries co-operate on issues of mutual interest affecting developing countries in the international fora,” he says.

Magwanishe adds that South Africa’s participation over the previous two shows in 2014 and 2016 yielded positive results for the industry, and that South African Defence Industry will have access to the lucrative international defence and security market.

Total bilateral trade between Malaysia and South Africa stood at R20.5 billion in 2017. South Africa’s imports from Malaysia stood at R11.6 billion in 2017 while South Africa’s exports to Malaysia stood above R8.9 billion in 2017.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

MOIS DE LA FEMME, cas de la femme congolaise

La République Démocratique du Congo est l’un des plus grands pays forestiers au monde. Ses vastes étendus boisées et les millions d’hectares de terres fertiles qu’elles nourrissent offrent d’énormes potentialités pour le progrès économique et social, via l’agriculture. Pour la commémoration de la journée internationale de la femme 2018, le thème retenu a trait à […]

via Femmes maraîchères : Un symptôme du gâchis de l’agriculture en RDC — Youth skills for DRC

Congolese Mining Code reform delay a setback for equality

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Gecamines facilities

By Thandisizwe

This year, Gécamines has expressed that it intends to initiate a frank discussion with its partners. And, as needed, demand a clarification of the agreements in place.
The 2017 financial year ended with the concrete materialization of an awaited commitment.
This was the inauguration, on December 22, 2017, of the modernized registered office of Gécamines in Lubumbashi, in the presence of the highest State authorities and institutions, led by the President of the Republic, Joseph Kabila K.
According to sources, “this inauguration, a symbol of the transformation that Gécamines has been undergoing for some years under the auspices of its Board of Directors, had presented the opportunity for its Chairman, Albert Yuma Mulimbi, to draw up an objective and uncompromising report on the activities of the company and to announce the major projects and challenges which await Gécamines for 2018.”
And finding that the overwhelming majority of partnerships that management has been entrusted to external partners by Gécamines present negative results.
Interestingly they do not generate any dividends. “And thus do not contribute to national development to the extent expected. Gécamines initiated, between 2015 and 2017, a series of audits of its partnerships with the help of leading international firms.
The initial results of these audits reveal that they were managed at the expense of Gécamines, often through unacceptable accounting and management practices. Gécamines cannot content itself with such a situation for longer.”
Furthermore, “Gécamines was attentively following the discussions currently taking place in Parliament on the reform of the Mining Code of 2002, whose stated objective was to rebalance the sharing system of the mineral wealth of the DRC, one of the most advantageous in the world for investors.”

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Katanga copper DRC

And as a recent report of a financial backer in effect noted, “the boom of the natural resources sector from 2007 benefited more to foreign investors than to the State and local producers, the choice to have recourse to multinationals operating in the formal sector thus not having generated the economic outcomes expected. It is now clear that the generous provisions of the Mining Code of 2002 do not allow the DRC to fully benefit from its abundant natural resources.”
In the future, Gécamines intends to break with past schemes that do not fulfill their initial objectives, contrary to the content of the studies produced at the time.
Gécamines has thus chosen to follow a subsidiarity principle. It will only form partnerships for the operations that require the contribution of third parties and that will allow it to maximize industrial or financial return. Two innovative partnership schemes are currently the subject of pilot projects with leading partners, a time-limited partnership scheme (also called “BOOT”), based in particular on (i) the recovery of an operational and modern production tool at the end of a period agreed in advance, (ii) a more egalitarian distribution of shares, (iii) a real and increasing implication of Congolese executives in the steering of the project and (iv) an effective distribution of subcontracting in the best interest of the Congolese economic structure; a mining production sharing scheme, inspired by the oil industry, thus allowing Gécamines to benefit directly from a part of the mining production, regardless of the financial results of the partnership, so as to guarantee to the Congolese that their wealth will effectively benefit them.
Various economists have confirmed that the desired transformation will only be able to bear fruits if Gécamines itself plays its role in the modernization effort that has been initiated. Between 2015 and 2017, Gécamines commissioned from various international consultant firms an audit of its industrial apparatus as well as an organizational audit.
The initial results of these audits are unquestionable: (i) its production apparatus, due to a lack of necessary investment over various decades, has become obsolete, uncompetitive and, often, inefficient and (ii) its industrial and institutional structure is no longer adapted to the reality of a globalized industry. Here again, Gécamines has been resigning itself before the magnitude of the task to be completed for too long. This situation can no longer persist.
As such, Gécamines has taken various strong decisions, including (i) the closure of its obsolete and dangerous sites, (ii) in the short-term, the concentration of its activities on its most profitable sectors, (iii) the investment in the certification of its reserves to prepare the future, which had not taken place for 25 years and (iv) the completion of a bankable study for the creation of a new plant.
Finally, the work conditions and methods within Gécamines must be revisited. Gécamines thus decided to initiate (i) a progressive modernization of its facilities, of which the inauguration of its registered office in Lubumbashi is only the first step, (ii) an organizational transformation so as to convert Gécamines to the best standards of the international mining industry, (iii) a global personnel training plan on the latest technological, legal and financial developments, unprecedented in the recent history of the company.
In addition, Gécamines has stated that it intends to reclaim its destiny. As the Chairman of Gécamines emphasized, in the name of the Board of Directors, “only the reconstruction of a strong national mining actor will be able to transform the wealth of the Congolese soil into wealth for the Congolese people.”

 

 

Le droit de manifester en RDC, quelle leçon?

 

By OT Mulombo

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A I’DWI dans le Kivu

A I’DWI, une île au lac Kivu en RDCongo, une jeune femme congolaise a été arrêté brutalement par qutre policiers pour avoir usé son droit citoyen de manifester contre le pouvoir en place.

Photo en dit plusque les mots!

C’est à ce pays que l’on vient de donner confiance recemment pour sieger dans le conseil des Droits de l’Homme à l’ONU.

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The right to protest in the DRC, what lesson?
At DWI, an Island in the Lake Kivu, DRC, a young Congolese woman was brutally arrested by four policemen for using her right to protest against the ruling power.

The picture says more than words!

It is this country that has just been given responsability recently to sit on the Human Rights Council at the UN.

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A I’DWI dans le Kivu

SEVEN ESSENTIALS FOR THE RISE OF A FIXER-CHURCH

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Pablo-George I. Emedi, BTh, MA, PhD Cand.
Pastor at Life Covenant Church International and Adjunct Faculty at Cape Town Baptist Seminary
Email: pgiemedi@gmail.com

We live in a radically different world today: A world in which despair, destruction and death has become the new norm. From the North to the global South, there is a common denominator of human destruction that leaves behind a trail of ruins and all sorts of atrocities. Darkness seems to have overtaken the light. Children are born and die without ever knowing the true meaning of peace, prosperity and a life that is truly life.

The question I intend to raise in this article is how are we, as Christians, churches, supposed to live in such a context? Surely, it can’t be business as usual. The brokenness around us calls for the rethinking, redefining and re-imagining of the mandate of the church. The sounds of death and wreckage of destruction are not far from us. We hear and see them every day. Churches and church leaders know of this prevailing pain. The Sky News documentary of Congolese children robbed of their childhood and turned into forced labourers to mine Cobalt international corporations is one of the many examples of the inhumanity in which we live.

This prevailingbrokenness is calling for a church that is prepared to assume its contextual God-ordained responsibilities. The social context we live in should compel the church to do church differently? From the world’s cruellest colonial system of King Leopold II of Belgium,to the Mobutu’s dictatorial reign, the Kabila regimes that have claimed over 10 million lives, the story has remained the same: instability, ruins, poverty, death, and brokenness. And this in spite of the paradoxical reality of being one of the world’s richest country in natural resources.

How do we minister in this socio-political context? Is the church and its leadership up to the task of doing theology contextually? My humble observation is that we have a myopic church; a church that is unable to see far beyond the basic “spiritual” needs; unable to perceive and lead the nation into its prosperous future. The near-sightedness of the Congolese church (both in the diaspora and at home) is expressed through the shallowness of “prosperity gospel” (a gospel that leaves the majority of its people poor) and its fascination with the demonic, the invisible, but also through its false theological dichotomy the spiritual (more important) and the physical (lesser important).

It is true that the Congo needs a message of prosperity and deliverance. But, not the kind preached in our churches today. We have tried that for over a century and have seen no tangible results. It’s time a new breed of church/prophets take the mantle of leadership to take the Congo into its glorious future. It’s time we turn the Congolese Christian majority into a revolutionary social transformational force. To do that, the church needs to acknowledge her own “brokenness” and allow the Lord to “FIX” her in order to become the much needed “FIXER-CHURCH”.

What is this “FIXER-CHURCH”? This church is modelled after Nehemiah; preaching and living out the word and will of God; and informed by its socio-spiritual context.

The following Seven-Point-Profile will help define this church: Firstly, it is a supernaturally PRACTICAL CHURCH.  This is a church that does not give spiritual answers to practical social questions. She is not “so heavenly mindedthat she becomes of no earthly use”. She repairs walls (Nehemiah 2:18); She is heavenly minded for earthly impact (Matt. 6:10). Secondly, she is a PONDERING CHURCH; an intelligent and inquiring body; a church with both intellectual and spiritual capitals capable of dealing with the nation’s socio-political questions: How are things in Congo? What’s the state of affairs? (Nehemiah 1:2). Thirdly, her spirituality is not only expressed through her practicality and pondering capability but also her praying fervour. Her practicality and inquiry informs her prayer: a strategically PRAYING CHURCH (1:4-11). Fourthly, she is a PLANNING CHURCH. This is an outflow of her practicality (2:1-18). Fifthly, because she is practical, understanding, with divine insight and plan, she bears a divine obligation to share the vision with all (2:18; 3:1ff). That’s a PROMOTING CHURCH. Her prophetic voice is instructional, mobilising and revolutionary. Her Sunday and mid-week gatherings should help shape the minds. Sixthly, as a PRODUCING CHURCH, she is goal setting and results-oriented; defending the gains made (3:1-32; 4:1ff). And lastly, the foundational essential of the proclamation of the unadulterated word of truth (8:1ff) make of her a PROCLAIMING CHURCH. Like Ezekiel, shefeeds on the word to proclaim it (Ezekiel 3:3).

Arise, FIXER-CHURCH! Yes, let’s rebuild our God-given nation, the DR Congo.