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7 months ago

Diplomatic World_nummer 56.

FÉLIX ANTOINE TSHILOMBO

FÉLIX ANTOINE TSHILOMBO TSHISEKEDI FOR DIPLOMATIC WORLD Congo is a country of contradictions. It calls to mind words like corruption, poverty and unrest but at the same time it is rich with resources and has a vast array of tribal cultures. It has everything it needs to succeed in becoming a leading force in lifting the African continent to new heights. Félix Antoine Tshilombo explains what he believes needs to be done to make Congo a success story. CONGO’S PROBLEMS Congo has many problems that started with Mobutu and towards the end of Mobutu’s reign, and became even worse with Kabila. There will be a lot of work to cleanse the system. Congo has a school system but a fragmented and unravelled one. People graduate from university but their competence level is simply not good enough, which is an incredible shame. French is Congo’s official language but the graduates hardly know how to speak, write or even align three correct sentences. In addition, the system is corrupt at every level. The teachers are not paid or very poorly paid, so they pass the students according to the principle of “those who pay, pass”. put in place, will never work. Our country is messed up at this point. First, we have to install structures again, something that has been demolished for over 30 years now. Today, the country works without structure and is in a non-state situation. Second, there needs to be a fight to restore morality and install an honest administration. That brings me to another big problem: everything goes wrong when you do not pay people for their services. Especially in the administration, which is where taxes come in. When the people working there are not compensated for their services, they start serving themselves. In the end, there is nothing left and there is no way to make a decent budget. In a system like this health, education and security are the first elements to suffer. 74 A major project will be to change the mentality. There are many anti-values that have become integrated in our society. People live in corruption and have come to see it as a normal thing. We are afraid of everyone and we doubt each other because everyone is in competition and wants to win. The Congo should not be regarded as a traditional country. We cannot apply readymade programs, which is why all the therapies that the IMF and similar organisations Félix Antoine Tshilombo Tshisekedi

Barbara Dietrich and Félix Antoine Tshilombo Tshisekedi Only when we have restored a rule of law, we can work on policies to straighten the economy so that we can increase purchasing power because the people need it. The Congo is a rich country so it is possible to give people a decent and prosperous life. Once we reinstall good values and create a secure climate, investors can come in and see that their interests are safe and guaranteed. This will create an influx of new investments and an economic revival that will lift the revenue. New investments will create jobs and at the same give the government the necessary funding to improve health, education, etc. THE FAMILY UNIT The family unit is another very important factor we have to consider. The family unit, which is the very core of our nation, no longer matters in the Congo today. Fathers are often not paid and neglect their children. More and more women today work to feed the children, but they do not always find honest work. Girls as young as nine years old are prostituting themselves to feed the family. Traditionally, things should be reversed and it is the father’s task to provide for his family. These situations are often seen in military families, for example. In the army, the soldier does not have the right to work, they can only settle for their wages. Wages are meagre and sometimes not even paid so it falls to the women who are working to feed the family. It is necessary to rethink the family unit and to restore the purchasing power. By giving value to employment, by giving the people work will in turn help them find their dignity and automatically restore the traditional Congolese values of the close family unit. SECURITY Of course, installing security is the most important and a priority. We must secure our borders and secure our citizens. All this traffic of gold and coltan by the border is a shortfall for our country. The way to stop it is to explain to the people living or working there that they have an interest in selling the products to their own country. By paying taxes on the items they sell, they can help the country become prosperous again and help us. Of course, they need to be reassured that we restored a rule of law. Now their idea is that since people at government level are stealing, then so do we. To them this is perfectly normal. Once the corruption is gone, we can give back a sense of patriotism. People need to understand that it is pointless to cross the border and sell Congolese gold in Uganda, coltan in Rwanda, etc. Our country and our people will not 75