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DRC National Assembly adopts decentralisation law

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MONUC - January 14, 2008

On 11 January 2007, the DRC National Assembly adopted the decentralization law, which defines the functioning of the new DRC territorial entities, or provinces. Of the 348 deputies present, the law was adopted by a very large majority of 341.

On 11 January 2007, the DRC National Assembly adopted the decentralization law, which defines the functioning of the new DRC territorial entities, or provinces. Of the 348 deputies present, the law was adopted by a very large majority of 341.

The law, which must now be examined by the senate, defines the organisation and the working of the territorial and administrative decentralised entities, and their respective villages, towns, districts and territories.

The law lays down the rules governing the reports of the territorial decentralised entities to the state and the provinces, and determines human and financial resources to be distributed to its entities.

National Assembly president Vital Kamerhe said that “with the adoption of this text, the process of decentralisation becomes not only efficient, but also irreversible.”

Instead of the current eleven DRC provinces, the country will be divided into 26 provinces, including the city-province and capital Kinshasa, in accordance with the Congolese constitution, and this division should come into effect in the 36 months following the enactment of the law.

Under the new law, the provinces will keep 40% of the income that they generate, and adjustment is planned to maintain a balance between the poorer regions and the others.

Every decentralised territorial entity “has a separate budget, distinct of the budgets of the state and provinces,” and is allowed “to have exceptional resources,” but doesn't have the right to “resort to an outside loan.”

But the text of the new law states that “autonomous management does not translate into independence."

Under the new law, the state will be in charge of affairs such as foreign trade, the army, the currency, and the national budget, while the provinces will have the responsibility for provincial and local public functioning, as well as the development of mining and forest programmes, and will have part responsibility for roads.


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