Julien PALUKU industrialize to pacify
The Honorary Governor of North Kivu, Julien Paluku, took up his post as Minister of Industry last September.

For this former Mayor of Beni and Butembo, who was on the front line during repeated attacks by armed militias in these cities, industrialization leads to peace. He has made it his and his ministry’s creed.

 A dazzling career path

 From being the elected builder of roads, bridges and public car parks in the cities he ran as mayor, to the seasoned negotiator – with the May May in particular, but also in Kampala in 2001, and on the conflict in Ituri – few biographical details seem to predestine the former governor of North Kivu to the national Minister of Industry. Professor of Community Health, he became “Ideology Manager” at the AFDL’s provincial office in 1998 following military training and, after joining the RCD, was appointed administrator of the Lubero territory in 1999. He was elected mayor of Butembo in 2003, Beni in 2005, national deputy in 2006, was appointed Governor in 2007, and remained in this position until February 2019. 

The strong man from Kivu for 12 years

 It was when he took charge of North Kivu that he understood the close links between industry and politics and that he strove to develop a diversified industrial base focused on agribusiness. But what will undoubtedly mark his time in the North Kivutian Governorate remains the implementation of the “E-governance” project. The first of its kind in the DRC, the pilot project for the a paperless system of tax collection services, which is already operational, is gradually enabling the Province to eradicate a large part of the flow of public revenues. Lest we forget that the Governor increased the provincial budget from USD 40,000 per month in 2007 to USD 1 million per month in 2018. The “E-governance” tool should make it possible to reach 10 million monthly payments in a few years thanks to its newfound traceability and transparency.

 First success at the Ministry of Industry 

A few weeks after he arrived at the Ministry of Industry, on September 9, he made an impression by announcing – eagerly anticipated by economic players for years - a drastic reduction in interest rates on loans granted by the Fund for the Promotion of Industry (FPI). These interest rates went from 9% to 6% for loans granted to manufacturers, and to a preferential rate of 4% if these manufacturers are young people or women. We also know that the new minister is very much in favour of the creation of a public investment bank, of the accelerated mechanization of agriculture, and everything suggests that these two projects will be priorities. But what appeals in particular about this tireless peacemaker, an expert of local issues on the ground, is unquestionably the strong and clear desire to bet on the development of industry to bring peace to the territories. Julien Paluku said the same when he took office: “I will work tirelessly to contribute.

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