February 17 2014

Constructing Infrastructure, a Catalyst for Development in Brazzaville, The Republic of the Congo

Denis Sassou Nguesso, "The Tireless Builder"

The Congolese capital of Brazzaville hosted the Build Africa Forum from February 6 to 7th, 2014. The opening ceremony took place under the patronage of the President of the Republic, Denis Sassou Nguesso, in a hall of the city’s exposition center where the former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade and other officials were also in attendance. Coordinated by Jean-Jacques Bouya, Minister of Land Use and Minister of the General Delegation for Major Works, this first-of-its-kind forum for business and investment in infrastructure is a platform for debate and reflection that was organized in partnership with the Africa50 Fund, an investment and business platform started by the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

The forum’s objective is to create a space for interaction between the worldwide participants who are shaping development in Africa, a continent whose lack of infrastructure seriously hinders its development and global competitiveness. More than six hundred political decision-makers, sponsors, representatives of non-governmental organizations, and other experts from around the globe made the trip to Brazzaville to participate in this forum that attracted more than a thousand participants. The forum’s activities included debates, committee meetings, participatory workshops, and talks given by experts, all aiming to encourage constructive exchange.

Constructing roads in the The Republic of the Cong

In his opening speech, the Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso praised the forum’s initiative. Moreover, he decided that from now on, the forum will take place every two years in Brazzaville. He also spoke highly of his government, which has begun many works of infrastructure construction. When speaking of NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) he paid homage to the former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who was one of the driving forces behind the program, and behind the program’s major projects such as the planned road-and-rail bridge between Brazzaville and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, two of the world’s most closely linked capital cities.

Recognizing that building infrastructure is expensive in Africa, he called for action on the part of investors and entrepreneurs to support the state’s efforts.

Is it likely that the initiatives of African leaders like Denis Sassou Nguesso will change international approaches towards becoming involved in African development projects?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Original article, originally published in French, here.

Marcus Khoury

Marcus Khoury is a recent graduate of the University of California Los Angeles, where he obtained a B.A. in French & Francophone Studies. Aside from his native Michigan, Marcus has lived in several states, in addition to France and Chile. Owing to his experiences with a variety of cultures, languages, and environments, he has always been keenly interested in how the exchange of ideas between different cities, regions, and countries helps to shape both physical and cultural landscapes. His linguistic background, in addition to his interest in the diversity of international urban environments and experiences, has led Marcus to fill the position of French Language Translator at The Grid, where he will be translating and presenting French language material involving environmental design.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 17th, 2014 at 9:30 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Government/Politics, Infrastructure, Marcus Khoury. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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One Response to “Constructing Infrastructure, a Catalyst for Development in Brazzaville, The Republic of the Congo”

  1. Constant Cap Says:

    Infrastructure is Key for Africa’s development and there has been a recent upsurge in the development of modern infrastructure – Road, Rail, Town expansion etc.
    There have been a number of success stories and a few failures (like the Ghost city that was built by the Chinese in Angola).
    It is also very important that all stakeholders are involved in the planning of modern infrastructure and not merely for the sake of ‘economic development’ that may never seem to benefit the common citizens.

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