Monday, 25 June 2012

$8 Billion 2012 Budget Announced in Kinshasa

Prime Minister Matata Ponyo presented the 2012 budget to the National Assembly on Friday 22 June.

It amounts to nearly $8 billion, a 20% increase over last year’s budget. The budget has increased steadily over the past decade but remains proportionally insignificant to the country’s size, resources and population.

Internal revenues (mainly from taxation) come to nearly $5 billion. Contributions from international donors are $3 billion.

For reasons of comparison, the annual operating budget of Boston University is $1.6 billion.

Matata defined the need to build an effective state (25% of the budget), the imperative to develop basic infrastructure (18%), the revitalization of the main production sectors (25%) and strengthening human capital and improving social conditions of the population (30%) as his government’s main priorities.

Budget allotment and management is a good indicator of a government’s performance. Although a half-century of development aid shows that more money does not necessarily mean better results, it will be difficult to accomplish much in DRC with $8 billion.

Producing some visible, even small-scale development and social results, however, could contribute to establishing the relationship of trust that is so badly needed between the government and the people.

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