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ECI's Dane Erickson speaks to the Brookings Institute on DRC elections & prospects for peace

On April 10th, ECI's Managing Director Dane Erickson spoke on a panel discussion at The Brookings Institution with Michael O’Hanlon on April 10, 2017.  The panel discussed current security, political, and economic challenges in DRC, and what potential future scenarios might look like. Click here to listen to the full panel discussion. 

"As you all know, Congo has been one of the fastest growing economic countries in the world over the last five years...that has huge implications for the lion's share of the population who are just trying to get by. When I talk to my Congolese friends and even our staff and they talk about the elections, they really want...free and fair elections to happen, but more than anything they just want to get by everyday."

"I would echo...that the Trump administration has not been particularly engaged yet in Africa and in Congo specifically, and we are coming off the heels of Tom Perriello, Russ Feingold, really strong special envoys...There's a couple of critical things we need to do. One is increasing our engagement overall in terms of budget, people and leadership in international circles." 

"There have been significant investments in Congo that have allowed, despite all of the statements that we've made today about that we're in a very perilous position, if you look back over Congo over the last ten years..there's episodic things that get headlines...but the overall trajectory has been a decrease of violence and an increase in development. Poverty rates have...decreased significantly over the last ten years. There's a long way to go but there's been steady progress...So what we need is to use all of our levels to maintain that...Part of that is using our budget to invest in things that work on the ground. Public-private partnerships for poverty alleviation, ECI does a lot of that, working with Starbucks, Theo Chocolate, Lush Cosmetics, are all sourcing sustainably in Congo, in Agriculture, in improving farmers' incomes.."

"The US has played a critical role in Congo and there is a vacuum right now because the US is pulling back...there is a vacuum in terms of influence, in terms of being a mediator, in terms of being an engaged actor in this context."

"If you look at Nikki Haley's comments, she's not wrong, we can do more with less with MONUSCO. I agree with Tony that it is absolutely imperitive that MONUSCO maintain a presence for the foreseeable future..but there are ways that MONUSCO can be more effective with its resources.." - Dane Erickson, ECI Managing Director

Posted May 25, 2017   •   Categories: Economic Development, Education , Featured, Peace and Reconciliation

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