Democratic Republic of Congo

How the ‘tshukudu’ is lifting people out of poverty in DR Congo


As workable on a bumpy path as on a smooth asphalt road, the "tshukudu" is found all over the province of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our Observer there tells us that this novel form of transportation, inexpensive and able to manage all kinds of cargo, has already lifted many young people out of poverty. Read more...
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Bizarre rivalry: Which DR Congo town is the real ‘Little Paris’


Residents of Bandal and Lemba, two districts of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, have both laid claim to the nickname of Congo’s “Little Paris.” The rivalry may seem odd but it has had surprisingly positive effects: it has sparked a competition to beautify both neighbourhoods to make them even more similar to the ‘City of Lights’. Read more...

DR Congo: Forced labour eclipses schoolwork

 
School principals in Bukama, a city in southern Democratic Republic of Congo, have found a rather unorthodox way to renovate their schools’ buildings for free: under the cover of “handicrafts” workshops, students — often very young ones — are building the bricks themselves in clay quarries, rather than studying. Read more…

Have Democratic Republic of Congo rebels really surrendered?

 
Rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) have been terrorising residents in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since the end of the last decade. Now - under pressure from the Congolese army - roughly 100 rebels have now chosen to lay down their arms in North Kivu. But many locals say the so-called surrender is little more than a publicity stunt. Read more...
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Goma residents up in arms about ‘privatised’ access to lake

 
Lake Kivu is known as a haven for residents of Goma. Some go there for a swim; others earn money by doing odd jobs there. However, a recent decision by the government to grant plots of land to deserving soldiers has greatly reduced access to the site. Read more...
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Giant solar-panelled robot catching bad drivers in DR Congo

A giant robot has been sitting in the middle of the road in Lumumbashi, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s second largest city, since last week. It’s not a work of art – it’s an actual traffic controller. Read more...

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Goma gets a makeshift makeover for mining conference

When Goma was chosen to host the second edition of the Conference on Transparency in Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo, authorities decided that the city needed a quick-fix makeover. But three days after the conference ended, residents are resigned to the fact that the “repairs” were only temporary. Read more...

DR Congo: Where anti-malaria mosquito nets serve as garden fences

 
Every year, an estimated 180,000 people die from the mosquito-carried malaria virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Yet a preventative government initiative to hand out mosquito nets has partially backfired, with many people using the nets as garden fences. Read more...
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DR Congo’s 'road from hell' paved with illegal roadblocks

Unofficial roadblocks are a problem throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the issue is particularly acute in conflict zones, like in the North and South Kivu provinces. In these areas, makeshift roadblocks keep popping up, and people have little recourse but to pay those who run them. This racket has become very costly for locals. Read more...

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