On 24 April 2009, DRC’s Prime Minister, Adolphe Muzito, announced the signing of a decree known as 09/12, putting into effect the privatization of several state-owned enterprises, including SNEL (electricity utility) and COHYDRO (state oil company).
Several innovations required under the terms of Decree 09/12 include the creation of an Autorité de Régulation du Secteur de l’Electricité (ARE), a Fonds National d’Electrification Rurale and an Agence d’Electrification Nationale. ARE will oversee the sector’s economic and financial viability, promote competition and the private sector’s participation in the transport, distribution, import, export and commercialisation of power.
The new law will serve as the driver for investments needed to tackle the Grand Inga hydroelectric project and generate as much as 40 000 MW to ease power shortages both in the DRC and the region. To achieve this goal, the DRC hopes to sign the act into effect before the end of 2009.
The entry of private investors into the energy sector in the DRC, however, may not be so straightforward, given the current debt issues with state-owned entities. Furthermore, a new oil law draft is pending and this too should open up the sector.
iPAD DRC 2009 is an annual international conference and exhibition, taking place from 06-08 October 2009 at Kinshasa’s Grand Hotel. The conference, boasting partners such as ANAPI (Investment Promotion Agency of the DRC), COPIREP (Comité de Pilotage de la Reforme des Entreprises du Portefeuille de l’Etat), FEC (Federation of Congolese Enterprises) and more, is the only business-to-business forum in the DRC bringing together local and international investors and business leaders, financiers and the Government of the DRC.
This year, special focus will be given to strategies to revive the DRC’s extractive industries based economy in the context of the global economic downturn. An in-depth examination is given to the infrastructure needs of this huge and resource rich country and in the light of the pending policy changes and liberalisation of the energy sector, there will be dedicated sessions on this.
Attendees can expect to interface directly with the Minister and Deputy Minister of Energy, Minister and Deputy Minister of Hydrocarbons, the Minister of Planning and the Minister and Deputy Minister of Mines, the Minister of Portfolio, top-level management of SNEL, stakeholders at COPIREP and more.
On Friday, 10 October, a visit to the Inga I and II hydroelectric power stations is planned.
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