Congo ‘Red Prince’ wins presidency

The victory  of ‘Red PrinceFelix Tshisekedi (53), who capitalised his father’s Etienne legend, upset the West, sincerely hoping that a globalist and liberal Martin Fayulu (62) former Exxon-Mobil top manager will capture the imagination the Congolese nation. However the miracle did not happen, and Congolese people, especially those, who live on less than $1.25 a day, defined as the threshold for extreme poverty, voted Socialism. In Congo 80% of population is falls under the description of as extremely poor, logically seeing in leftist Tshisekedi-son a protector of their interests with his political UDPS party programme to defeat poverty: “Vaincre la pauvreté”.

The frustration of the West hit the lowest, when they endorsed the interference of the Catholic Church in the election process, referring to it as to an ‘honest broker’, monitoring the elections, and accumulating the ‘authentic‘ data on people’s vote in favor of Martin Fayulu.

Although since the collapse of the USSR, more than a billion people across the globe have been lifted out of extreme poverty  in Russia, China, India, following the principles of the liberal system, nevertheless the charms of the Socialism in some parts of the world stayed intact. Especially among African youth, who believes in superiority of the socialism over capitalism, and in Congo the population pyramid clearly indicates the dominance of young generation with median age of 17 years old.

However the crucial factor in favor of the CongoleseRed PrinceFelix Tshisekedi is China, the major trading partner, and investor in DR Congo. The Chinese model is seen by many Africans as a genuine alternative to the Western capitalism, with the Communist party keeping business ambitions framed. Led by Communists, Chinese annual trade with Africa has amounted to $220 billion, making it Africa’s largest bilateral trading partner.

Congo possesses half of the world’s cobalt reserves, and is high quality copper, both in growing demand of modern high-tech industries, assessing Central African country as one of the richest in the world in raw minerals with $24 trillion worth.

However Chinese companies are not just trading in raw materials, but spending $3 billion to build roads, hospitals and universities in Kinshasa and throughout entire Congo. The barter is part of a new philosophy of Communist party that combines development aid and mineral concessions in a package deal. It’s a business model the Chinese are replicating across the African continent, infusing their influence though aid at the most rapidly growing market in the world. Within this economic realities, the victory of the Socialist candidate, is also a reflection of the Chinese Communist party growing influence on African continent.

 

 

Congo: EU sanctions failed again

The expulsion of the EU Ambassador Bart Ouvry from the Democratic Republic of Congo is a serious blow to the image of already weakened by Brexit block. In multi-polar world Congo will be not short of friends and those, willing to co-operate with one of the richest African nations. The EU is losing again its positions, due to its outdated foreign policy, inclined to give unsolicited advise and tutorials on democracy and human rights. The price to pay is high – in face of one diplomat, Congolese government turns its back on 28 European states for at least a decay to come.

The EU insistence on prolongation of sanctions on Presidential candidate, Interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary,  who is the incumbent President’s chosen successor, shows a very poor analysis and judgement of the situation in Congo, especially in view of a broader trend of political longevity of African leaders. It is highly likely that Kabila‘s protégé will win the bid, and it is certain, that he will not forgive and forget the position of Brussels diplomacy.

“Africa’s future is also our future,” said the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said recently at high level Africa-EU Forum in Vienna. However, if the course of the EU foreign policy remains unchanged,  and rigid, soon Europe will be excluded from African future without reverse, and Africa’  future will be shared with Chinese, Indians, and Arabs.

So far the EU politics of sanctions failed wherever it was applied conducted at costs of growth and jobs, leading to impoverishment of Europeans, whose despair erupted in Yellow Vests protests in France. But who will criticize French Minister of interior for an excessive use of force against the protectors?..  Who will apply sanctions against the Interior Minister?..  Quod licet iovi non licet bovi… (What is allowed to Jupiter is not allowed to a bull – Latin proverb).

Congo’s most important export partners are: China (24% of total exports) followed by South Africa (22%) and the European Union (4%). Main imports are: foodstuffs, fuel, textiles and machinery, and leading partners: Angola (15%), France (13%) and Singapore (10%).