DRC, or the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the third-largest nation in the continent of Africa. Its name Congo denotes “hunter’ as it was termed by an ethnic group in Congo River Basin. The nation is widely affiliated with Southern Africa as a member of the Southern African Development Community. Boundaries for the DR Congo include a wide range of territories from all directions. Before the country got its name, the Democratic Republic of Congo, it was once first called the Belgian colony of the Belgian Congo until the 1st of August, 1964. After some years, the President of the country changed its name to Zaire, which means ‘the river that swallows all rivers.’ But the name Democratic Republic of Congo was explicitly used after the First Congo War took place in 1997 (Edgerton, 2002). The second war involved a more critical matter wherein it was almost regarded as the “African World War,” wherein a lot of killings are tagged in millions.
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Giving an overview of the DR Congo would require as much information for its history. The economy of the country is largely affected by the two recent tensions that occurred in the form of the first and second Congo wars. It decreased the national output and the total revenue of the government, increased its debt, and the mortality rate increased for a rate of five million resulting from the two wars. The businesses have failed, considering the fact that firms have had difficulties operating in a chaotic scenario of war even in its aftermath. The wars resulted in a general dilemma encompassing the legal structure, inflation rate, corruption and the insufficiency of opened in government economic policy and financial operations arouse. Also, the basic needs of people are affected as malnutrition became prevalent, as represented by almost two-thirds of the population. However, this issue has been improved in the year 2002 when the missions of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank reached the country and helped in developing an economic plan. Reforms are implemented by the President afterwards. Many of the activities in the economy rely on the external affairs of the Gross Domestic Product of the country. After the number of years of having temporary rules and policies for the nations, they apparently developed a stable system for the country and settled as a democratic country (Turner, 2007).
This paper focuses on the political and economic aspects of the DR Congo with regard to the domestic and international security issues that will greatly affect the operation of the multinational organization in the country. Developing a strategy to present strategies for the security of a multinational organization such as Chemicon Plc should then discuss the significant details regarding the security issues and risks in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Assessing the domestic and international security risks from the political and economic environment, such an organization should be provided profound details for better establishing a multinational company. Consideration for the substantial information that would affect the portfolio of the organization will be assessed, such as the current condition of the DR Congo economy. And suggestions with regard to the development of plans on how these risks can be properly managed will be presented.
DR Congo Economic and Political Sense
In addition to the facts shown in the earlier context, the DR Congo is known as the largest producer of cobalt ore in the world and one of the primary producers of copper and industrial diamonds. The country is also an important key player in the produces of tantalum that is generally used for the fabrication of electronic components in computers and mobile phones. The country indeed is rich with natural minerals, and in 2002, tin was discovered though mining in the country is not seen as a big matter. The abundance of minerals and resources in the country has helped to initiate war in the Eastern part of Congo. Specifically, Katanga Mining Ltd, which is a London-based company, has an entity in the country owning the Luilu Metallurgical Plant. This plant has the power to hold 175,000 tons of copper and 8,000 tons of cobalt per annum and thus makes the company to be the largest refinery of cobalt in the whole world. After a rehabilitation program, the company again began the production of copper last year and the production of cobalt last May in the current year (Edgerton, 2002).
The political sense of the country goes along with various marks in its history. In 1960, the Movement National Congloais Party, which is a progressive nationalist organization in the country, dominated the scene in the election as it was led by its leader, Patrice Lumumba. The leader was apparently appointed as the Prime Minister of the country. However, there have been perplexities when it comes to the political stability of the country because of the different leaders appointed by various progressive groups in the countries. It seems like a political niche favours a specific leader and ideologies that lead to the diversification of the economy. Though in the same year, 1960, the Belgian Congo took its rights and became independent and established a name of ‘The Republic of Congo’ (Lemarchand & Hamilton, 1994).
Narrating the DR Congo in retrospect details the scenarios that happened in the political crisis during the time of the country’s instability. The choice of the republic’s name was actually influenced by the French Middle Congo due to the acquisition of independence. In 1966 though, the country had settled into the name of ‘The Democratic Republic of the Congo’ upon the decision of Joseph Mobutu. But before that, conflicts on the political positions arise through the dismissal of Lumumba from office made by Kasavubu in 1960. Lumumba then had just appointed Joseph Mobutu as the Chief of Staff for the Congo army or the Armee Nationale Congloaise. With the position given to him, it made a consequent action wherein Mobutu took advantage of the conflicts between the two leaders, Lumumba and Kasavubu. This resulted in the rebellion of Mobutu against the two, wherein he used the authority of the army to conduct mutiny. Mobutu paid the soldiers through the financial support of the United States and Belgium to win the service of the soldiers (Edgerton, 2002). Ideologies of the people remained to be parted through the influence of the political leaders that the people appointed as well as the decisions whether Mobutu should be backed up in his objectives of attaining order for the country by dismissing Lumumba and Kasavubu. After a year, the forces of Katangan and Belgian troops were backed up by the foreign interests kidnapped Patrice Lumumba. In the middle of this tension and conflict, the government continued its activities through the leadership of the technicians with Evarist Kimba. And a political instability of the government was then depicted because a lot of leaders took over the power but stayed in shirt terms only (Edgerton, 2002).
Thus, the economy and political matters of the Democratic Republic of Congo appeared to be chaotic during years wherein a stable government is still in search. Political leaders had intentions for authority and power. This led to the tension that made the government into its down level. Economic condition after the first and second Congo wars has been apparent to the struggles of the people relating to its basic needs such as foods and the increase of mortality rate.
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DR Congo safety and security
It had been known that the economy somehow possesses an unstable government. Hence it affects the crime level of the country. Reasons comprise the high rate of unemployment and not compensating the military and public servants. The risks of the crimes on the street are highly seen because of the wide robbery by the armed gangs, and sometimes driving people are the most targeted ones. Certainly, this risk is more prevalent to the foreigners in the country because they have more resources. Robbers will get more from them and be able to sustain their life. This is a big issue because tourism in the country is affected as it makes the visitors think of a negative impression. However, the terrorism issue in the DR Congo is viewed to be at a lower risk. But still, people should consider the possibilities of terrorism because it sometimes occurs in an unexpected time and setting (FCO, 2007). Thus, security should be widely implemented all throughout the country. It should be put on a highlight that people should take extra security for self-protection. Important things should be kept and consider the unexpected things to happen at any given point anywhere.
The civil war made the country list conflicts where the country dealt with the military and political responsibilities in a transitional type of government. The elections in the recent periods still made some conflicts, and worst is the death of some civilians. After the elections, violent scenes are still visible in the public demonstrations made by the progressive organizations. Thus, people should avoid the places wherein mobilizations take place. To be further noticed regarding the demonstrations in connection with the political crisis may largely affect the situation of the local security (Turner, 2007).
Security Risk Management
As the further evaluation of the economic and political environment of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the threats of the environment, technology, people, organizations and politics involves the consideration of the people’s welfare. Providing security for a multinational company should meet the government’s rules and regulations and abide by the law. Managing the risks described in the context apparently come up with two strategies in dealing with these dilemmas. The proposals generally aim at avoiding the risks, reducing the negative impact of the risk and accepting some of the consequences of the risks in the political sense. Thus, proposing that developing more substantial military laws and helping people achieve an average status in the society would give safety and protection for Chemicon Plc as well as the whole country (FCO, 2007).
Taking into consideration the risks that the political crisis brought and resulted in the wars in Congo makes the proposal more motivated to request for a stronger development of the military forces of the country. DR Congo indeed is a democratic country, but sometimes, the power should be limited to a point wherein it will bring welfare for all. If the security system is not able to adjust to a stronger level, people will not know how to think positively for the benefit of all. Political leaders should be given enough power to control the people considering, of course, the just laws provided by the constitution. Tourism in the country will also be affected because a more secure country will attract visitors more frequently than prevailing crimes on the street targeting foreigners. The second approach for risk management definitely requires the responsibility of the multinational company. Providing employment for the people is seen to lessen the crimes on the street, which are basically the results of unemployment. Increasing the employment rate would help people to sustain their living in a clean way and not commit crimes anymore. This will also help develop economic stability for the DR Congo because the level of the country’s income will be maximized and hence help to improve the whole economic system (FCO, 2007).
Risk assessment for the Democratic Republic of Congo with the consideration of the multinational company evaluated the political and economic environment of the country. It had been known that the civil wars largely affected the present condition of the country. Political leaders are seen responsible for some chaotic scenes that took place during the past years and somehow still prevail in minimal detail. The economy, though, is not at the level of stability, and people commit crimes because of the factors which relate to the sustainability of their living, while political crises arise due to the parted ideologies of minority groups. People are into demonstrations for the political processes that are under the supervision of the leaders.
As with the establishment of the multinational company, it is proposed that the Security risk Company should seek the help of the government though there are some conflicts when it comes to the political affairs of the country. This may help raise a point to make the laws and security stronger. The second proposal depicts the relationship of the company to the people and seeks cooperation that will benefit both players. Thus, Chemicon Plc is then expected to have security and respect from the people because it aims for the benefit and welfare of the country in general.
It is suggested that other multinational companies should invest in this kind of integration with countries such as the DR Congo. This is seen to be an excellent way to help the country develop a stable economy because profits will make the country establish more jobs for the people and reduce the risks of chaotic scenarios. Chemicon Plc is recommended to provide things that will benefit the economy and, in return, operate in a successful and safe way in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Edgerton, R. (2002). The Troubled Heart of Africa: A History of the Congo. St. Martin’s Press.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2007). “Congo (Democratic Republic)” Web.
Lemarchand, R. & Hamilton, L. (1994), “Burundi: Ethnic Conflict and Genocide”. Woodrow Wilson Center Press.
Turner, T. (2007). The Congo Wars: Conflict, Myth and Reality.