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DRC: Egypt to help Tshisekedi launch the Kinshasa extension project

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Thursday, 4 February 2021 16:29

The future ministerial city in Kitoko. © © ATEPA

DRC's President Félix Tshisekedi took off on 1 February for a two-day visit to Egypt, during which he met with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to finalise the launch of Kitoko, a project led by Senegal.

During his latest visit to Cairo, the Congolese president was accompanied by a large delegation which included three ministers who had preceded him: Julien Paluku (Industry), Pius Muabilu (Urbanism and Habitat) and Augustin Kibassa Maliba (Post, Telecommunications and New Information & Communication Technologies).

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During this trip, he had to finalise the signature of several contracts for infrastructure projects. According to our information, Kitoko – a major project which aims to create a “smart city” in the DRC – was also on the agenda.

A ministerial city and twin towers

Designed by Senegalese architect Pierre Goudiaby Atepa and approved by Tshisekedi, this initiative – which is supposed to relieve Kinshasa’s congestion – has been entrusted to the Egyptian consortium Income. An agreement was therefore signed in Cairo between the Congolese president and this group.

The location of the future building site has already been chosen. The 30,000 hectares (ha) site located 40km east of Kinshasa and 15km away from N’Djili International Airport, is not far from the former headquarters of the Mouvement populaire de la révolution [Popular Movement of the Revolution] (MPR) in Mobutu.

This vast urban centre is expected to house a ministerial city (most ministries should be able to be transported), a courthouse, congress hall, hospital, but also a new headquarters for Gécamines (which will consist of twin towers).

10,000 ha and €3.3bn

A feasibility study was carried out and endorsed by the Anglo-American law firm Deloitte. According to the plans for this new city, the 30,000 ha surface area will be distributed as follows: 10,000 ha will consist of cultivable areas located on the hills to shelter the agropoles; 10,000 ha will be reserved for roads and various networks (VRD), public spaces and green spaces; and finally, 10,000 ha will be devoted to marketable urban land.

According to our information, the first phase – the building of infrastructure, which should take five years – will cost more than €3.3bn. This amount will, in principle, be financed through partnerships that are still being formed.

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This project was first presented to Tshisekedi in April 2019, on the occasion of Macky Sall’s inauguration. The first meeting was followed by a visit to Dakar of a delegation led by three ministers: Muabilu, Sakombi Molendo (Land Affairs) and Aggée Aje Matembo Toto (Spatial Planning) in January 2020.

Within the presidency, the dossier is led by Tshisekedi’s special advisor on investment, Jean-Claude Kabongo. A steering committee will be set up to manage this project.

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