The Role of the Congolese Diaspora; Before and After the 2016 Presidential Elections In Congo.

Ever since the independence of their country, and whenever the opportunity arose, Congolese have always manifested their enthusiasm to elect their leaders. This was the case in 1960 – with the election of Patrice Lumumba -, in 2006 and in 2011. The expectation has always been that through this process  will emerge a new leadership that will  work toward the consolidation of democracy,  the building of strong and  responsive institutions and lead the country toward development, poverty alleviation and stability.  After two decades of violence that has claimed the lives of more than 6.9 million and has caused deplorable humanitarian conditions, Congolese people are earnestly yearning for that kind of leadership that will promote good governance for the benefit of all its citizens and stabilize the country. Indeed, a stable and well governed Congo is not only beneficial for its citizens, but also for the regional and global peace as well as for U S Interests. This is well emphasizes in the preamble of the “Democratic Republic of Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006”

At this Junction, Congo needs the engagement and support of all its daughters and sons, the international community, donors as well as the United States to make sure the up-coming presidential elections scheduled in November 2016 take place and bring about that desired leadership. Failure to sincerely engage to support the electoral process might throw Congo back into violence squandering all the International community peace-keeping efforts in Congo since 1999.

In this context, what role can the diaspora play to ensure that this is not another missed opportunity? How can the diaspora mount an effective advocacy campaign calling for the upholding of the DRC Relief, security and democracy Promotion Act of 2006? (This bill was introduced by then Senator Obama and signed by President Bush). What role can the diaspora play in the monitoring of the coming elections? What should we envisage as our role after the 2016 presidential elections?

VENUE: 1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW 8th Floor |Washington, DC 2009

TIME:   From 1 Pm to 5.30 PM. From 1 PM to 3 PM. Presentations. From 3 PM to 4.30 PM. Group discussions “World Café” From 4.30 PM to 5.10 PM. Adoption of Resolutions and strategies for follow-up. From 5.10 to 5.30. Cloture

DATE:        March 11, 2016

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better.

                               It’s not “     – Dr Seuss.