DRC and Egypt promote bilateral relations

February 17, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Darell Maurice

In addition to the unwavering support of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to the DRC stabilization efforts, it has been confirmed that the new Suez Canal will be connected to the Grand Inga.

Egypt bring its experience in the areas of SMEs, tourism and others. Relations between the land of the Pharaohs and the land of Lumumba are therefore rosy.

The Congolese Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo last week returned to the nation’s capital city Kinshasa after a four-day working visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt. Matata was received by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el- Sisi, to whom he conveyed the message to his Congolese counterpart, Joseph Kabila. Although Matata Ponyo did not comment after the hearing, it is believed that of the message delivered on the Egyptian issue, President Joseph Kabila welcomed the good fruitful cooperation and relations between the Democratic Republic Congo and the Arab Republic of Egypt. It must be admitted that the visit of Matata came after that made by President Kabila in August 2015, during the inauguration of the new Suez Canal.

Following his arrival at Cairo, Prime Minister Matata’s stay had not been easy. When he arrived, Matata Ponyo Mapon co-chaired, with his Egyptian counterpart, Sherif Ismail, the signing ceremony of strategic partnership agreements between Kinshasa and Cairo. Specifically, these agreements focused on renewable energy, among others, with the consideration of voltaic energy, especially on the large project of Inga, that is to say, a connection between the Grand Inga and the Suez Canal.

Agreements were also signed in the field of tourism. The tourism sector contributes much to the growth and development of Egypt. It is said that Egypt has proven experience in this field. Other agreements were signed to cover small and medium enterprises and handicraft. Another agreement concerns the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation between the General Secretariat of the Congolese Government and the Egyptian Prime Minister.

Since the opening of the new Suez Canal, the site has become an industrial area of great importance. Multinationals have moved to take advantage of this huge infrastructure, but this area can develop if electrical power is available. Hence the importance of the Grand Inga project for Egypt, a key project which is the ideal solution for African integration between North and South, East and West Africa. Joseph Kabila and Abdel Fattah el- Sisi have understood. It is in this context that we must place the signing of these agreements under their leadership.

In four days, Matata Ponyo conducted nearly seven site visits in Egypt. On the Saturday, he delivered a speech at Cairo University, one of the highlights of his stay in the Egyptian capital. On this occasion, he praised the macroeconomic performance achieved by the Democratic Republic of Congo, under the leadership of Kabila. Indeed, before the audience of Egyptian scholars, the man with the red tie shared the experience of the upturn in the Congolese economy. He explained that the DRC has earned, during recent years, remarkable performance in terms of stabilization of the macroeconomic framework and economic growth, the result of a committed policy since 2001. This was confirmed at the end of 2015, with a growth rate estimated at 7.7%, an inflation rate of less than 1% and gross international reserves estimated at 1.46 billion US dollars. The Prime Minister warned that these results, combined with rigorous management of public finances, have strengthened the capacity of the DRC to finance major investments on the basis of national resources.

This is the case of the construction and rehabilitation of public buildings and economic infrastructure, purchase and rehabilitation of transport units as air, river and rail, construction and rehabilitation of schools, hospitals and health centres. The experience of the agro- industrial park at Bukanga Lonzo was also highlighted and explained to the Egyptians.

For Augustin Matata, the objective is to improve the agricultural sector through large investments in order to increase the country’s economic performance. Other investments in the sectors of energy, transport, housing and water are being exercised.

Matata Ponyo also alluded to the international economic situation, marked by falling prices of main raw materials, in particular, copper and oil. Given the urgency, precautionary measures were taken, measures to stabilize the macro-economic frameworks and those to diversify the country’s economy.







Darell Maurice

Darell Maurice is a Journalist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city Kinshasa and works for Canal7kintv. He also blogs here.


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