Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Belgium’s Congo Agenda

Belgium has become a secondary commercial and political partner for Congo whose partnerships with China and other emerging economies are constantly increasing. Conversely, the former Belgian colony still has a place on the agendas of numerous political leaders and institutions in the former metropole. Activities in Brussels this June provide ample proof.

The number of high-level events could be interpreted as a follow-up to the activities that took place one year ago to mark 50 years of Congolese independence from Belgium. Also, as Belgium has broken all records for a country without a government, Congo helps fill a political vacuum.

The Congolese Embassy, with the support of the Belgian Ministry of Development Cooperation will host the Forum économique congolais dans l'Union Européenne on 9 & 10 June. Reconstruction de la RDC: Secteur financier, Investissement et Diaspora is the forum’s theme.

EGMONT, the Royal Institute for International Relations in association with CRE-AC and the Observatoire de l’Afrique will host two Congo events on 8 June. A panel debate on the challenges and opportunities for Elections in DRC and a book presentation by Jason Stearns who has just published Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa.

The Commission universitaire pour le Développement gives Professor Pierre Verjans (University of Liège) and Augustin Muhesi (PhD candidate at the Graben Catholic University) the floor to present their perceptions of Bonne Gourvernance Provinciale et Pratiques Efficientes en RDC. Date: 9 June.

The Socialist Party’s Institut Emile Vandervelde, under the auspices of Marie Arena inaugurated ‘les vendredis du Congo’. On 16 June a round table on Congo’s natural resources will take place.

On 14 June E-CA – CRE-AC pursues its Rotunda Policy Talks with a debate on how Belgian experts perceive and represent Congo. Herman De Croo, David Van Reybrouck and Colette Braeckman will exchange views with Congolese Ambasador Henri Mova Sakanyi and Olivier Chastel, Minister of Development Cooperation.

A Congolese environmental success story, Ibi Village will present its work at the Espace Delvaux on Tuesday 14 June. A group of international experts will present Ibi’s socially sensitive approach to carbon sequestration. Prior to the debates, the pioneering film by Henri Storck Les Seigneurs de la forêt will be shown with a presentation by environmental historian Patricia Van Schuylenbergh.

In honour of the International Day of the Environment (17 June), the Agence Belge de Développement is hosting a workshop on Payment for Environmental Services  Case studies from Indonesia, Peru, Equator and DRC will be discussed.

1 comment:

  1. The ruling of the Congolese supreme court seems the right one.
    The reason for that is that the political opposition was not able to produce proof of illegal irregularities at the court.
    Even in western countries the court requires evidence of facts. It is not enough to rely on secondary facts.
    I think that all the non governmental organisations performed badly in their role as observators at the recent Congolese elections.
    It seems that their role has been to create the political crisis instead of assisting the official electoral commission which is still in need of more technical expertise in front of politicians fighting for their own survival.
    It is also curious to note the silence of the media about the violence organised by the opposition, violence which lead to many cases of death. Besides, Mr Tshisekedi and his supporters do not allow freedom of speech on any issue related to the Congo.
    Finally, I am raising a question.
    Can those who question Joseph Kabila´s victory explain how Mr Étienne Tshisekedi could win when there is 10 opposition candidates against Mr Joseph Kabila. There some other specific aspects of Congolese politics I will return to later. The majority of the population in Congo has expressed their support to Kabila´s programme. It is important that the world respect the will of the Congolese people instead of trying to help an opposition which was not able to present a coherent political programme for the Congo.

    A friend of the DRC