DRC’S ELECTION FACES UPHILL BATTLE IN REMOTE REGIONS
As President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) pursues re-election, the commitments made during his initial
As President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) pursues re-election, the commitments made during his initial term to alleviate poverty in remote areas appear to have gone unfulfilled. Despite the implementation of certain social policies, numerous regions, such as Camp Pay in the Kwilu province, continue to grapple with persistent challenges.
Unmet Commitments and Lingering Challenges
Within Camp Pay, local voices resound with sentiments of disappointment and frustration. Blaise Kabwengi, a fish vendor, points out the unfulfilled promises regarding the closure of the Boma port. Despite assurances of reopening and resuming activities, nothing concrete has materialized, leaving the community in a state of uncertainty.
Victor Mukala, a farmer, articulates dissatisfaction with President Tshisekedi’s tenure, underscoring the necessity for tangible actions to address issues related to transportation and food security. Mukala contends that, even as the president nears the end of his mandate, he bears the responsibility to fulfill promises for the well-being of the population.
Tshisekedi’s Social Initiatives and the Ground Reality
Assuming power in 2019, President Tshisekedi introduced social policies such as the waiver of primary school fees and the implementation of free maternity care in the capital, Kinshasa. These policies aimed to enhance education and healthcare access, especially for vulnerable populations.
While there has been an uptick in the number of Congolese children attending school, the overall impact on poverty in remote areas remains limited. In rural regions like Camp Pay, the promised improvements appear distant, leaving residents contending with challenges such as inadequate transportation and food scarcity.
Ongoing Struggles in the DRC Despite Mineral Wealth
Despite the DRC’s mineral wealth, the country grapples with substantial economic challenges, including corruption, mismanagement, and conflict in the eastern part of the nation. The World Bank estimates that approximately two-thirds of the DRC’s 100 million people live on less than $2.15 a day.
Felix Tshisekedi, aged 60, is seeking a second term in the upcoming December 20 election. Since assuming power in 2019, he has implemented flagship social policies such as waiving primary school fees and introducing free maternity care in Kinshasa. Although more Congolese children are now attending classrooms, the majority of the population in the Democratic Republic of Congo remains ensnared in persistent poverty with little perceivable change.
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