Now invested Prime Minister, Matata Ponyo has selected a close-knit team to sustain his reforms.
When he became Finances Minister two years ago, Matata Ponyo came to this conclusion: in DR Congo, institutions and mechanisms do exist but they do not operate properly. Consequently, he has directed his action towards a consolidation of the Congolese system of public finances.
Matata Ponyo has worked with the basic conviction that efficient management requires neat balance sheets, transparency at all levels and a constant reporting. He has waged a fight against dysfunction, waste, corruption and fraud. He has also overturned the habits of the Congolese civil service thus far engulfed by sluggishness. With patience but much determination, he has successfully develop more reliability and coherence.
Matata Ponyo has achieved several reforms such as the new Customs Code, the new Code of Public Procurement and the Value-added Tax. Other reforms are still under way, such as taxation or decentralization. To complete this agenda, he has selected a team that reflects his priorities.
A Close Team of Experts
The Prime Minister remains very focused on dossiers related to public finances and on the implementation of the recently adopted framework law. With his new team, he has organized an innovative proximity in the decision-making process. The new government provides Ministers with further authority, in particular through the positions of vice-Prime Minister and Deputy-Ministers.
Daniel Mukoko gets much sway with the new position of vice-Prime Minister in charge of Budget. This status ensures the necessary influence to push priorities.
Another innovation is the portfolio of Deputy-Minister in charge of Finances attached to the Prime Minister. In this position, Patrick Kitebi Kibol Mvul reports directly to the Head of the Government since the Prime Minister wants to ensure a better control on the management and on the allocations of public spending.
Lastly, two vice-Ministers complement this team of "superintendants": Abayume Liska in the position of vice-Minister for Budget and Roger Shulungu Runika in the position of vice-Minister for Finances. They will be the voice of the government to address the administration and local authorities. They will also be in charge of the everyday control of public spending.
More State Authority
In parallel of restoring the regalian authority, Matata Ponyo wants to strengthen the role of the State. In his investiture speech at the Parliament (7 May 2012), he has insisted several times on the expected performance of State functions. The Prime Minister considers that good governance and budget discipline are critical tools to modernize the country.
There is no doubt that the ministries in charge of public money will be invited to use all the available monitoring and regulating instruments. For the new government, the agenda is clear: turn the DR Congo into a modern State able to mobilizes all the necessary financial resources for development. Domestic public revenues now reach 21% of the GDP against 15% 5 years ago. This is still a modest figure but it highlights considerable progress, considering the challenges that this country with the size ofEuropehas to tackle.
The Prime Minister wants a close coordination between the different ministries. In this regard, the Minister in charge of the new portfolio Planning and Follow-up of the Modernity Revolution has a strategic position in the governmental architecture. He will indeed contribute to define the overall resources and means to turn the DR Congo into a middle-income country. The objective is to join the group of emerging nations by 2030.
With this new government, DR Congo enters into the era of modernity. The challenge is now to optimize the huge potential of this country.