Security and Economy Top Priorities During 2nd Mandate of Tshisekedi

On 20 January 2023, Felix Tshisekedi was sworn in as the next President of the DR Congo for a second mandate after winning the elections in December 2023. He garnered 73% of the votes with a turnout of 43%.

The ceremony took place at the 80,000-seater Martyrs’ Stadium which was packed to capacity on the occasion. Some twenty leaders, from Africa mostly and other regions, attended the ceremony.

Martyrs' Stadium was Packed for President Tshisekedi's Swearing-In Ceremony
Martyrs’ Stadium was Packed for President Tshisekedi’s Swearing-In Ceremony

The African leaders included: 1) Angolan President Joao Lourenco, 2) Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye, 3) Comorian President and Chair of African Union Azali Assoumani, 4) Congo-Brazzaville President Denis Nguesso, 5) Gabonese President Oligui Nguema, 6) Djiboutian President Omar Guellah, 7) Gambian President Adama Barrow, 8) Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, 9) Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Embalo, 10) Kenyan President William Ruto, 11) Malawian President Lazarus Chawera, 12) Sao Tomese President Carlos Nova, 13) Senegalese President Macky Sall, 14) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, 15) Tchadian President Idriss Itno, 16) Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, and 17) Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

It is worth recalling that for the ceremony at the start of his first mandate in January 2019, only Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta showed up. Former Congolese President Joseph Kabila also marked the ceremony with his notable presence.

During his keynote address, President Tshisekedi highlighted security and economy as the key issues and vowed to take them on. The Eastern region of DR Congo is experiencing insecurity, instigated by rebel groups allegedly supported by neighboring Rwanda. Despite being resource-rich, almost 62% of Congolese still live under the poverty line.

In light of these challenges, he thus outlined six courses of action as follows:

  1. Create jobs
  2. Upgrade purchasing power
  3. Enhance security
  4. Diversify the economy
  5. Democratize health access
  6. Improve efficiency of public services
Billboard Highlighting Key Themes of Tshisekedi’s Action

As one of the priority measures, Tshisekedi reiterated the need to renegotiate the ‘resources for infrastructure’ deal with China. So far, the Congolese believe that the infrastructure build-up falls well short of the resources supplied. In a bid to generate employment and improve income, Congo would like to foster #industrialization in order to reap more benefits locally.

DR Congo is rich in Cobalt, Tantalum and Copper which are #CriticalMinerals for the #EnergyTransition and the #DigitalWorld. However, the current model of exporting unprocessed ore appears to have brought little in the way of socio-economic progress from the perspective of the layman. Thus, Congo must undertake more Local Value Addition (#LVA) in order to reap maximum benefits from its mining resources.

It is widely believed that some of the social measures that Tshisekedi implemented during his first mandate has contributed to his second victory. In particular, free primary education for all was warmly welcome by the population.

For his second term, one of his objectives is to upgrade the health sector. The electoral campaign was run under the themes of ‘Unity, Security and Prosperity’ which will serve as the general guidelines for the government’s actions.