How this African election could spell trouble for Tesla – by Aleks Vickovich (Your Money – December 20, 2018)

Your Money

Supply of precious metals hinge on peace in this troubled country.

Few rags to riches stories exemplify the troubles of Africa like the rise of Joseph Kabila. Born in a small village in what was then Zaire in 1971, a military career led him ultimately to the presidency of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and (in what is unfortunately unlikely to be a coincidence) vast personal wealth.

Like far too many sub-Saharan leaders, Kabila’s reign has become synonymous with conflict and corruption. Researchers at New York University have estimated that the First Family has financial interests in companies, especially miners, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Meanwhile the average salary in the DRC is $394 USD per annum, and many Congolese citizens live in unsafe and unhealthy conditions, and some in full-blown warzones. This weekend, the people of the so-called Democratic republic have an opportunity to exercise that democracy and put an end to the Kabila regime. At least in theory.

The president himself is not running. In fact, under the country’s constitution, he was meant to step down in December 2016, but was held up by some very unfortunate and unavoidable delays. But, of course, he has appointed a chosen successor, Emmanuel Shadary, who is the frontrunner ahead of Sunday’s slated polls and will be seen as the continuity candidate.

Despite its name, the country’s process to elect its next president has come under a cloud. Major opposition candidates have dropped out of the race in suspicious circumstances. The governor of Kinshasa has banned campaigning in the capital city. Thousands of voting machines have been destroyed in a fire.

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