Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Monday, January 31, 2011

Updates: Kamitatu, $637 million and ministerial discord

A few updates:
  • The Congolese government signed a deal yesterday with its Chinese counterpart for a $637 million loan to rebuild the Zongo II hydroelectric dam in Bas-Congo. The dam is supposed to produce 150 megawatts, a part of the Kinshasa's 1000 megawatt needs. It's not clear what the terms of the loan are.
  • The Alliance pour le Rénouveau (ARC) political party of Planning Minister Olivier Kamitatu announced that they will support incumbent Joseph Kabila for the 2011 elections, but intend to run on their own for the legislative elections. ARC currently has about 5 percent of seats in national elected institutions - 25 MPs, 7 senators and two national ministers.
  • The government appears to becoming more and more dysfunctional - for a second time in the space of a few days, Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito reversed a decision taken by one of his ministers. Two days ago it was the reinstatement of directors of the National Lottery Society, who had been fired by the Minister of State Companies. Several days before that, Muzito had countermanded the decision by the Education Minister to suspend the executive board of the National Pedagogic University (UPN).


Anonymous said...

Just two notes.
The loan seems to be $367 million, and not $637, which is still overpriced for 150MWatts.

On a less factual note I would say that the government is the opposite of dysfunctional, the same way that a fighter jet that hits a civilian jet airliner did not make any mistake but hit its target with the expected accuracy. The pilot did his job as expected, is somebody in higher position that made a mistake.

Simone Salvatori

Jason Stearns said...

Yes, I also saw some disagreement among journalists about the price tag for the dam. And you are certainly more of an expert than I am in terms of the overpricing.

As for the dysfunctionality - perhaps. I think we don't know to what degree the government screws things up on purpose, how much we can attribute to incompetence, confusion and institutional weakness. But these are crucial questions.

Anonymous said...

Good news for Congo as Kinshasa needs electricity to grow as a city and also to facilitate the development of the country.

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