President Félix Tshisekedi urges the government to materialize the electrification projects of the DRC

0
146

Kinshasa, May 4th, 2022 (CPA).- The President of the Republic, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo has urged the government to materialize electrification projects throughout the national territory in order to reduce the development delay accumulated by the DRC in the energy field. The Head of State gave these instructions during the fifty-first meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Government of the Republic, which he chaired last Friday by videoconference, from Lubumbashi, where he was staying as part of the interprovincial conference. Grand Kasaï-Grand Katanga. « To guarantee access to drinking water and electricity, which is a constitutional right, and in view of the difficulties experienced by our populations in this area, the President of the Republic has called for a good structuring of this sector in order to significantly reduce the delay in development accumulated by our country for several decades and to meet the great expectations of our people”, indicated, in his report, the Minister of Communication and Media, Patrick Muyaya. According to the government spokesperson, there are now several investment offers in the energy field. These include the Indian government’s proposal to finance the installation of solar power plants in Karawa (15 MWp), Lusambo (10 MWp), Mbandaka (10 MWp), Mbuji-Mayi (15 MWp) and Manono (10 MWp). It is imperative, underlined Minister Muyaya, that the government reserve an urgent character for the projects electrification of the country, and particularly the processing of projects relating to the offer mentioned above. The same is true for projects to set up small and medium-sized solar and wind power plants presented by various investors to the competent authorities for analysis and decision. « For the materialization of this project, the President of the Republic has instructed the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Hydraulic Resources and Electricity as well as the Minister of Finance to take stock of the situation which will allow Congolese women and Congolese to benefit of their basic rights, » he said. It should be recalled that President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo had promised to make the electrification of the DRC an economic priority of his mandate, during the first forum on electrical energy in the DRC held in August 2019 in Matadi. “We have a historic responsibility,” declared the Head of State. Despite its enormous hydroelectric potential, the DRC has one of the low electricity supply rates of African countries. It varies between 10 and 15% of service for more than 80 million inhabitants and a mining industry operating with a deficit of more than 2,500 megawatts. This is one of the many paradoxes of the DRC. The hydroelectric potential of this country, estimated at 100 megawatts, places it among the 5 largest in the world. And yet, according to the World Bank, if electrification continues at the pace of the past 10 years, 80% of the population will still live without access to the electricity grid by 2030. And for good reason, « the DRC has not experienced significant progress in the development of its electricity production since 1982 », according to President Tshisekedi, while its population has almost tripled at the same time. Added to this is a distribution network in poor condition and downright non-existent in the majority of the country. To overcome this paradox, the DRC voted in 2014 for the liberalization of the sector, but it was only very partially implemented, which deterred investors. The reform provided in particular for the creation of a regulatory agency and another for rural electrification, which still do not exist. Just like the tax incentives announced at the time. In the meantime, more than 90% of the energy consumed in the country comes from wood, which threatens Congolese forests. Not to mention the impact on the economy. “One in two companies see electricity as a major obstacle to their growth,” according to the World Bank.