training and competitiveness
“The problem that continues to concern me is whether we are preparing our children in the Democratic Republic of Congo well for the challenges of the 21st century. “

It is on this question that Dr. Raïssa Malu concludes the assessment of his 4 years at the Education for Quality and Relevance of Secondary and University Education Project. Beyond philosophical considerations alone, the Congolese economy and society are at stake.

By the end of 2018, according to World Bank figures, the Congolese economy was worth some US$47 billion, compared to US$88 billion and US$368 billion respectively for Kenya’s GDP (51 million inhabitants) and South Africa’s (58 million inhabitants). No need to conduct an in-depth analysis to agree that the DRC is doomed to produce significantly more wealth, and easy to see, on the one hand, the creation of new businesses and, on the other hand, the development of businesses. And if human capital is the primary resource of organizations, it must be able to deal with the mastery of knowledge and professional skills to constitute the primary asset of companies.

It all starts with... the beginning! In October 2018, Dr Gilbert Mananga Lelo, a neuropsychiatrist, led a conference on education, and quoted King Solomon on the fundamental principles of neuroscience: “Teach the child the way he should go and when he is old, he will not turn away from it”. The challenge is therefore to create an environment conducive to the development of our children’s capacities by passing on values, offering them a quality education and structuring their questioning: all factors that will prepare them to become “experts” in the future and that will equip them in a wide range of fields, in line with the needs of business and society in the DRC, and in response to the challenges of an ever changing world.

An investment of 60 billion euros per year by German companies (“Les Echos”) When training is part of a logic of wealth creation and redistribution, it takes on a new dimension. To turn  away from economic, social and professional impasse, our schools have a duty to integrate their programs into the world of work and the market economy. The success of such an approach depends on a number of fundamental criteria, including, like the Germans, a commitment by the companies themselves to effectively mobilize their technical and financial resources to improve and professionalize their training and, consequently, to develop, optimize and innovate.

A country rich in potential and skills “We have done in forty years what you have done in three centuries. “ said President Xi Jinping during a trip to Europe in early 2019. China’s development, often cited as an example, is the result of meticulous preparation in all areas, including the training of millions of engineers and the selection of the best local and foreign universities, and even a combination of support and freedom to help realize national potential. In the DRC, the battle will be long, exciting and epic. It will require removing cultural barriers and changing old recipes, but it must start today if the ambition is to be seize our opportunities and adapt to the new paradigms of the outside world.

Henri Plessers Mboyo

Financialis ACM


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