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September 16, 2011

Seeking a second term in office in November, President Joseph Kabila pledged to make the Democratic Republic of Congo an emerging country on Wednesday during a speech to the nation in Kingakati, east of Kinshasa, attended by members of his political family.

President Kabila vowed that, if reelected, he will turn the country into an energy powerhouse, while keeping in line with the requirements of sustainable development and following a model of economic development that preserves the environment and the ecosystem.

The hydroelectric potential of the DRC, estimated at 100,000 MW – of which 40,000 can be obtained from the damns at Inga alone – is enough to provide the energy necessary for a national development program and can be exported to other countries in Africa and the world, he said.

Kabila plans to give priority to hydropower and energy policy incentives. “We will increase the number of dams and power plants of small and medium sizes across the country to serve the majority of the population,” he said.

He also intends to rely on the hydrocarbon potential of the DRC, thanks to a new legal framework that he hopes will attract investments for the development of all sedimentary basins in the country.

President Kabila did not forget to mention agriculture, which he said is the foundation of any development. He assured that he will continue to support this sector by making the heartland more accessible and providing agricultural inputs to be added to the 3,000 tractors given to the provinces to promote a more mechanized and productive agriculture.

On the social front, President Joseph Kabila promised to complete the program initiated during his first term, with a particular emphasis on peace and security for all Congolese, on housing, on education, and the social conditions of the population.

President Kabila vowed to give the DRC a “national army, republican, powerful, deterrent, motivated, and well equipped,” capable of defending the country.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, he said, will also work to improve relations with its neighbors by promoting of strong regional leadership and a diplomacy of peace.

He said he will promote a housing policy supported by a system of credit to help Congolese get access to land. This system, he said, will be supported by a housing bank to be created with the backing of the government and other partners.

President Kabila said he intends to make the education sector a priority, not only for acquiring knowledge but also for learning how to be a good citizen.

He promised to pay special attention to the social conditions of the population, particularly by improving their living and working conditions, access to health, drinking water, and electricity.

ACP article