Congo’s New Parliament– The Republic of Congo is soon to have a new parliament building which will be funded by the Chinese government at the cost of $58 Million (€52 million).
Report shows that the Chinese government will be doing this for free.
Imagine having a brand new national infrastructure at the expense of another country’s government. It appears China is doing Congo a favor that Africa cannot entirely shun without wondering if there are strings attached or yet undisclosed mutual agreements.
At the moment, the gift of footing the multi-million dollar construction bill is considered overly generous of the Asian country.
The new parliament building will be situated in Brazzaville. The flag off for the construction took place on Monday. In attendance was Qian Keming, the Chinese vice minister of commerce and Congo’s President, Denis Sassou Nguesso.
The construction has been contracted to a Chinese firm Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Co Ltd. It is expected to take about three years before the edifice is completed.
Congo’s new parliament project has sparked off criticisms from opposition party and Human Rights groups.
The opposition believes that the investment by China’s government is perhaps a misplaced priority which may accrue more debts for the African country.
Clement Mierassa, president of the Social Democrats party (PSDC) said:
“I hope this Chinese investment will not impact Congo’s future debt, which has already ballooned,”
The opposition reminded the ruling government that an investment that would alleviate poverty and hunger amongst the people would have been a better idea.
Sharing a similar view, human right activist, Tresor Nzila emphatically states that “a new parliament building is not a priority”.
Tresor Nzila is the executive director of the Congolese Observatory of Human Rights. Instead of the new parliament building construction, he said addressing the crisis in the southern region of Pool was more imperative.
The activist also pointed out that the nation’s human rights record in general should also be looked into.
“The priority for us is the resolution of the crisis that has shaken the Pool for a year and the improvement of the human rights situation as a whole,”
Conflict ensued in the Pool region after his re-election of the sit-tight president into office. Denis Sassou Nguesso who has ruled Congo for about 30 years was re-elected in 2016.
According to the electoral body, Nguesso won with more than 60% of the votes but the opposition insist that the figures were not accurate.
Irrespective of the antagonizing views, the government maintains that the proposed Chinese funded project of $58 million parliament building has beneficial prospects for the country.
Planning Minister, Jean-Jacques Bouya has no doubt that the anticipated state of the art building will modernize the capital city. He says it will be known as “one of the biggest collaborative projects done by China in sub-Saharan Africa”.
The funding and construction of the Congo’s new parliament building will be the second of its kind since 2011.
6 years ago China funded a 120-megawatts dam in Imboulou, Congo. The project cost about $290.9 million.