News / Africa

DRC Plans Massive Investments in Power Generation, Agriculture

DRC Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon (Credit DRC government 2)
DRC Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon (Credit DRC government 2)
Peter Clottey
The Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) says his administration plans to invest about $ 50 billion in power generation both for domestic consumption and for export.

In an exclusive interview with VOA, Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon said it’s part of the government’s effort to lift living standards by transforming the country’s economy and infrastructure.

“The first phase should mobilize up from $7 billion to $10 billion, and the DRC will be obligated to partner other financiers both in the public and private sector. This aims [to provide funding for] phase one of the Inga [dam] project,” said Ponyo Mapon.

                    Energy investment

The country has an estimated hydroelectric power generating capacity potential of about 100,000 MW.  

Prime Minister Ponyo Mapon said he has entered into a partnership agreement with the private sector in the effort, known as the INGA power generation project. It’s expected to produce about 50,000 megawatts of electricity.

“This will enable us to resolve a key problem of electric power consumption. There is an energy deficiency in parts of the country including Katanga province, so a project that aims at increasing our power generation is a project that should go together with the development of our country. It also goes together with poverty alleviation [and] to foster industrialization of the country,” said Ponyo Mapon.

Ponyo Mapon said the Inga dam project has a potential to generate power at a relatively reasonable cost to the government in Kinshasa.  Easing the expense are the expected revenues likely to be earned by exporting energy to the DRC’s neighbors.

“We are busy working on a model that will help us determine the exact cost as well as the exact benefit. But, I can assure you that social benefits of the project are high because here is a project that will enable us to sensibly improve the provision of power to the population,” said Ponyo Mapon.

                    Agricultural production

Until now, the DRC has not produced enough food for its population or for export though the country enjoys fertile lands, fresh water bodies and conducive climatic conditions.

But, Prime Minister Ponyo Mapon said his administration wants to diversify the economy with investments that could make DRC the breadbasket for the Great Lakes Region and beyond. He said the government wants to transform small scale farming activities, which are estimated to employ about 70 percent of the rural population.

“I have been busy working in order to make agriculture a priority sector not on a small scale, but into an agro-based industry,” said Ponyo Mapon. “We are in partnership with experts who are coming from all over the place even from Harvard University, to help us to set up agro-industrial machinery that will be capable of facing the future challenges.” 

He said the administration aims to use agriculture to boost employment among youth.

“Agriculture can also help us resolve the issue of macroeconomic stability because today, we spend about $ 1.3 billion to import food stuffs. So, if we produce everything we consume today, we are capable of saving $1.3 billion per year,” said Ponyo Mapon.

                    Mining

DRC is rich in untapped deposits of cobalt and significant quantities of the world’s diamonds, gold and copper as well as coltan. Experts have linked mining activities to the security challenges the country faces. They say various armed groups use the illegal sale of natural resources to fund their insurgencies.

But, Prime Minister Ponyo Mapon sharply rejects the notion that the country’s resource wealth has been a curse rather than a blessing to the people.  He said the country has made great strides in increasing mining revenue due to what he said has been the visionary leadership of President Kabila.

“Today the DRC is [experiencing] an eight percent growth rate [despite the war in the eastern part of the country].  This shows President Joseph Kabila’s exceptional leadership which has led to a great increase in mining activities and revenue generation,” said Ponyo Mapon.

                    Peace and stability

The government and representatives of the M23 rebels are currently engaged in peace talks to resolve the conflict in the restive North Kivu province. Officials say the conclusion of the talks in Uganda’s capital Kampala, could pave way for peace, stability and the protection of lives and property in the region.

Prime Minister Ponyo Mapon said peace and stability are essential to the success of government efforts to improve living standards. He said the government is committed to achieving peace at home as well as in other parts of the Great Lakes region.

“Investors are really afraid of conflicts, and that is why President Kabila has made peace and stability top priorities, and he has involved himself since 2001 and since this war started,” said Ponyo Mapon.” In the long term, all efforts are being made for professional reform of the army of the police and of the intelligence service in order for the DRC to be equipped with a professional army capable of guaranteeing security of the people.”
Clottey interview with DRC Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon
Clottey interview with DRC Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Maponi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid