Here's a New York Times Opinion article on development and the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
"Realistically, some nations may be beyond help at this point because they are so deeply mired in war and other conflicts. Without peace and better political leadership, it is hard to anticipate big gains in development in places like Iraq, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo."
The Ebola outbreak has gripped broad swaths of West Africa, reaching Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal.
According to the World Health Organization, there have been 6,242 reported Ebola cases over all,and at least 2,909 people have died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Nigeria and Senegal have recorded 21 cases of infection and a total of eight deaths. A separate outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has caused 41 deaths.
It would be an understatement to say that travel to these countries is problematic. The C.D.C. has issued a Watch Level 3 warning (“avoid nonessential travel”) for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and a Level 2 warning (“practice enhanced precautions”) for Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
What does Mobile Money mean in Congo? First, you are getting paid. And second, you are getting your full pay. Finally third, you have to stand up for hours at the Mobile Carrier's office to get money.
To date, Congo remains a cash society.
‘Airtel Money’, the company’s mobile money platform, is already making a revolutionary mark in the country with the government embracing it to make seamless large-scale salary payments from December last year. Now, civil servants including the military, the police force, pensioners and other civil servants can receive payments on their mobile phones.
Louis Luballa, the Managing Director of Airtel DRC said: “In May 2013, about 66,000 civil servants in DRC received their salaries via Airtel Money, a demonstration of how technology can make things easy. With Airtel Money, Airtel DRC is paving the way to a new era of financial transactions at the tap of a mobile phone, helping to save time going to the banking halls. The introduction of this revolutionary service in the DRC market clearly demonstrates the key role Airtel is playing in empowering local communities in DRC and across Sub-Saharan Africa.”
DRC remains one of the countries with the limited banking facilities in Africa but rapid development in ICT sector, particularly mobile telephony is sending a strong message about the continent’s potential to innovate. Africa is now considered as the fastest emergent continent in the ICT sector growth after Asia.
Mobile banking is growing so faster here in Congo.
Just last month in Kananga, I noticed long lines in front of the mobile phone operator shop. Customers are getting cash from their account versus paying vendors with mobile money. That too, will change.
I always thought Congo's airport security procedures and conditions were the worst in the developing world. But sadly, traveling to Congo is my only experience in traveling to the developing world.
Thanks to Leslie, it's confirmed. I have my stories to tell but here's her story.
The United Nations has more than 17,000 military personnel in Congo, but the peacekeepers have been roundly criticized for being too passive. Several African countries, including Tanzania and Mozambique, have discussed contributing troops to a new intervention brigade to confront and disarm rebel groups in Congo. The plan is for the new brigade to work with the other peacekeepers but engage in combat more often.
But analysts warn that this new brigade, which still needs to be approved by the United Nations Security Council, will be effective only if it is willing to go toe-to-toe with rebel fighters and take heavy casualties - as peacekeepers from Uganda and Burundi have been doing in Somalia, with some success. Many observers say the United Nations has so far been unwilling to do this in Congo.