Congolese across the country are celebrating their Independence attained on June 30th in 1960 after successfully eclipsing the Belgian colonialists.
President of DRC Félix Tshisekedi has used this occasion to denounce tribalism and hatred which prevail across the vast mineral rich country with a population of 84.07 million.
“I often observe the passion with which many of my fellow citizens are incensed when the rights and freedoms of people of color are violated in other places, especially in old democracies. But how can we understand that these same fellow citizens are sometimes found among those who stir up tribalism and hatred the most when it comes to the lives of our compatriots?” President Tshisekedi said in his address to the nation last evening.
He added that he will fight with the last energy the resurgence of these plagues which could threaten the will to live collective so dearly acquired.
Congo achieved independence from Belgium on 30 June 1960 under the name Republic of the Congo. Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was elected the first Prime Minister, while Joseph Kasa-Vubu became the first President.
The DRC has had five presidents since Independence including; Joseph Kasa-Vubu, Antoine Gizenga, Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, and incumbent Félix Tshisekedi who took office on 24th January 2019.
According to the DRC presidency, this anniversary is, “better than a simple celebration, a consecration of our Heads of State whose selflessness and patriotism contributed to the founding of the Congolese Nation.”
According to the World Bank, DRC’s Real GDP growth dropped to 4.3% in 2019 from 5.8% in 2018 due to a slowdown in extractives, the economy’s main driver despite a fall in the price of some raw materials (copper and cobalt).