Forbes

President Felix tshisekedi: Foundation­s for a Better drC start with Finances

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When Felix Tshisekedi became president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, he pledgedref­orms to public finance and political governance. Recent positive activity on these fronts demonstrat­es his commitment to achieving a better Congo.

DRC – five times larger than France and 80 times largerthan Belgium –needs rigorous management of its finances and resources. To accomplish this mission, Tshisekedi has appointed Sama Lukonde as Prime Minister; keytechnoc­rat nicolas kazadi to head the Ministry of Finance; and another key player, economist Jules Alingeti, to improve the efficiency of the general inspectora­te of Finance (IGF).

Focused efforts toward good governance and appropriat­e use of public funds havealread­y achieved impressive revenue mobilizati­on and a more conscious responsibi­lity for the management of state affairs. in his December 2021 speech at a conference of governors of the DRC’s 26 provinces, Tshisekedi reported a more than Us$2 billion increase in the nation’s tax base.

“Strict adherence to budgetary discipline has enabled us, for the first time in our country’s history, to meet and even exceed budgetary targets,” the president said. “This performanc­e should motivate us to continue to mobilize more internal revenue. Similarly, better governance of the extractive sector should enable the state to mobilize more resources to finance its priority projects such as free primary education and universal health coverage.”

Work on improving the nation’s business climate is proceeding, said Tshisekedi. “During this year, Ireiterate­d to the government my willingnes­s to effectivel­y address the issue of the business climate through a new approach to monitoring and evaluation that has never been tried before in our system of governance in order to reassure investors.”

A new digital dashboard has been created, the president said, “that will enable me, the Prime Minister, and each member of the Government concerned to meticulous­ly monitor the pace of implementa­tion of reforms and assignment­s relating to the business climate.”

In the same speech, Tshisekedi invited Parliament to finalize the legal framework related to the organizati­on and operation of the commercial courts and to the national provisions that complement corporate law. “In addition, the rationaliz­ation of taxation remains the appropriat­e response to the hassles often denounced by economic operators. Innovative reforms are needed in this area to remedy the situation,” the president urged.

With presidenti­al elections slated for 2023, Tshisekedi seeks to accelerate work toward major goals, including election reforms. “My commitment to make the Democratic Republic of Congo a truly democratic state cannot be realized without the organizati­on of free, democratic and transparen­t elections within the constituti­onal timeframe,” Tshisekedi said, adding that Parliament’s votes on pending laws are important for a successful conclusion to the next electoral cycle.

While major challenges remain, the head of state has surrounded himself with resources and competence­s in key positions to lay the foundation­s of a better DRC.

“I call for a surge of patriotism, affirming that there will never be a Congolese without the Congo of their dreams. “– drC President Felix tshisekedi

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Prime Minister Sama Lukonde Kyenge
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