Congo: A gift and a curse

Artisanal mining in DRC

The natural resources that the Democratic Republic of the Congo possesses potentially makes it the wealthiest country on earth. Unfortunately, in 2019, a research has found that DRC has one of the poorest population in the world with an estimated GDP per capita of $545.2 in 2019 according to the world bank.

Why is it? This has not happened overnight. There are a series of events that have led to this. Belgian colonialism cannot entirely be blamed for the problems of today’s Congo. We have the hero-worship of political leaders, who’s politics is solely a matter of enriching themselves and their extended family.

Now, I would like to look at two facts of history which have led to the impoverishment of Congolese people and the enrichment of everybody else.

In 1888, a Scottish veterinarian, John Boyd Dunlop, had come up with an invention that will not only considerably improve the comfort of thousands of travellers in Europe and America, but also rule, or even end, the lives of millions of Congolese – the inflatable rubber tyre. In 1901, rubber had accounted for 87% of Congo’s exports.


In 1999 and 2000, Ugandan gold export rose to between $90 and $95 million annually. At the time, Rwanda was exporting 29 million US dollars worth of gold each year. This is a great deal especially when one realises that neither country has any significant domestic gold deposit.

There is no other country in the world as fortunate as Congo in terms of his natural wealth. During the last century and a half, whenever acute demand has risen on the international market for a given raw material, Congo has turned out to contain huge reserves of the coveted commodity.

  • Ivory in the Victorian era
  • Rubber after the Invention of the inflatable tire
  • Copper during full-out industrial and military expansion
  • Uranium during the Cold War;
  • Alternative electrical energy during the oil crisis of the 1970s
  • Coltan in the age of portable telephones

The economic history of Congo is one of lucky breaks but also of great misery. As a rule, most of the fabulous profit doesn’t trickle down to the large part of the population. That dichotomy that is what we call tragedy, a gift and a curse.

Commémoration du Génocide Congolais – Geno-Cost 2019

Genocost 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa

Ce 2 août marquait 21 ans depuis le début de la deuxième guerre du Congo en 1998. Un conflit qui a déstabilisé la région des Grands Lacs par des crimes de guerre et des génocides. Pour se souvenir de tous ceux qui ont péri durant ce conflit oublié, des membres de la diaspora congolaise à travers le monde se sont réunis pour la 7e commémoration du Geno-Cost.

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#Genocost 2019 Join the Movement worldwide

This year will be the 7th commemoration of the #Genocost . Please take a stand for the millions of Congolese who died in Congo wars. Join us and others across the world to show that their lives mattered, to say that they won’t be forgotten. On August 2nd, you can:

  • light your own candle and share it with the world, using #Genocost
  • change your social media profile picture to the #Genocost candle of hope (attached in this email)

If you are in London, Nottingham, Toronto and Cape Town, please come for a commemoration service on Saturday 3rd August 2019. There will be a remembrance ceremony, talks, food, fundraising, music, and networking. You can confirm your attendance and find out more details about each service following the links below.

·         London: Eventbrite page & Facebook Event page

·         Nottingham: Facebook Event Page

·         Toronto: The Kcope booking page

  • Cape Town: Iziko South African National Museum Cape Town

Thank you, and we look forward to engaging with you (online and in-person) in the coming days

Genocost s’implante à Paris

L’equipe du CAYP a Congo na Paris pour la campagne du Genocost.

Genocost s’implante à Paris, et pour son lancement, nous avons été à la rencontre des Congolais lors de la conférence de Congo na Paris Cette participation a été une grande réussite; Riche en rencontres et en échanges

Merci à tout les participants qui sont venus à notre rencontre.
Restez connectés sur notre pages pour les évènements à venir.

Gellerie photo de Congo Na Paris