Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Panel Discussion

My Mobile and War are connected?
Natural Resources, Consum and Conflicts – Exploitation of Developing Countries with focus on the Demokratic Republic of Congo

Panel discussion with Lebendiges Kongo e.V.
Researched often, named likewise and yet not recognized, the actors, who enrich themselves on vastly  existing fields of natural resources in third world countries. During this evening we discussed backgrounds, conflicts, initiatives and challenges regarding the business and economy with those precious natural resources. It became clear, that the normal Congolese does not benefit from the richness of his country.

Mr. Wolfgang Tiefensee
Member of Parliament, Wolfgang Tiefensee presented the discussion, in which ambassadress for DRC from Berlin, Madame Clementine Shakembo Kamanga, Chairman of the association Lebendiges Kongo e.V., Dr. Dinanga Cingoma, and Miss Kristina Rehbein representative of Erlassjahr-Campagne participated.

Dr. Gernot Wagner, Chairman evagor GmbH
With such a extensive topic, it was clear that nothing much could be clarified and solved, yet more interest created and initiated.
Mr. Dr. Gernot Wagner, Chairman of Evagor GmbH, who is running a project in Katanga-region in the DRC, gave an insight into the situation of a company, which wants to invest and build there. He was a special guest in the audience.

The discussion flowed excitingly and it was hardly time to allow the members of the panel to really explain their points in detail. Dr. Cingoma introduced into the talk by stating clearly that the war, under which the DRC suffers, is an imported war. Madame Shakembo Kamanga supported this argument and reported about the civil war, which destroyed all existing economic developments in the country ten years ago.

Dr. Dinanga Cingoma, chairman Lebendiges Kongo e.V.
Kristina Rehbein, and
Clementine Shakembo Kamanga, Ambassodress DRC
She reminded the listeners especially on the destinies the children are suffering as former child soldiers and orphans, who don't face a bright future without proper education. Also, she mentioned initiatives, which are already being undertaken by the government of Germany and other actors, yet lack power and effectiveness. Miss Kristina Rehbein ( focused on the  relation between dependency on export of natural resources and growing indebtedness of state, and discussed the economic events and consequences on the DRC.

The audience did not miss the chance to critically ask questions  and panel members tried as best to find the answers. Even after the official discussion there were excited talks between audience and panel guest.  We appreciated the attendance of many Africans for the event, which showed the great value  of such an event and the interest of the topic. Another association was the  German-African Society Leipzig (DAFRIG e.V.).

Some cultural contribution through traditional Congolese sounds was brought by Engenga-Ensamble and Ndungu Kina, as well as a delicious buffet of Congolese cuisine calmed heated minds and gave the evening a bright end. At times, the discussion had been quiet gloomy, desperate and hopeless. Yet the after-party was relaxing, showed a positive final note  and with it resistance to the feeling of "giving-up". At approximately 10.45pm the last guests left the location.

During the evening we received donation of 86EUR, which contribute to the association and the current project "fruits no flames". Many thanks to the donors! Find more information on how to support us!
The successful cooperation shall be repeated soon. Many thanks to the team of the bureau-café Tiefensee and the Micha-Initiative for the great cooperation. 

  supported within the framework of the communal strategy
„Leipzig Ort der Vielfalt“ (Leipzig place of diversity)