Statement by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy

Date: March 15, 2019

Subject: United States to Work with Tshisekedi Administration to Build a More Prosperous Congo

On December 30, the Congolese people voted for change. This historic, peaceful change in leadership provides an opportunity for the United States to work with the new Tshisekedi Administration in order to usher in broad social and economic prosperity to the DRC. In my meeting with President Tshisekedi, I congratulated him on his inauguration and stressed the United States’ willingness to partner with his government as it pursues his commitment to advancing democratic values, combatting corruption, respecting human rights, bringing security, and promoting prosperity.

In addition to meeting President Tshisekedi during my trip to the DRC, I also spoke with representatives from across the political spectrum, members of civil society, entrepreneurs, emerging young leaders, as well as with members of the American business community. I also met MONUSCO personnel, USAID partners, and the brave Ebola responders delivering critical protection and humanitarian assistance under extremely difficult conditions. The indefatigable spirit of the Congolese people–most of whom insisted on reform and progress–inspired me.

President Tshisekedi is off to a good start to provide the positive change Congolese desire and deserve. He has laid out a strong and ambitious 100-day plan and taken a number of important steps during his first month in office to increase transparency, promote accountability, combat corruption, reduce impunity, and improve respect for human rights.

We look forward to supporting his economic agenda to increase investment, employment, growth, and enhance responsible U.S.-DRC bilateral commercial ties.
We want more American businesses in the DRC, but in order to do so, there has to be a level and transparent playing field.

We recognize the road to prosperity will be long and sometimes bumpy. The United States will continue to use every available tool, including sanctions, to ensure that those who threaten human rights, the democratic process, and the prosperity of Congo are held accountable.

Ambassador Hammer shares my commitment to strengthening U.S.-DRC cooperation. I thank him and his team for their support during my visit. I also thank the Congolese we met who provided honest assessments of the challenges on the ground and asked difficult questions of us. This is what friends do.

I’ve said this many times before, but I do believe that for the DRC, we all have to look together through the windshield rather than the rearview mirror.‎ And, as I look forward, I am an optimist about the DRC’s future. The United States stands ready to be a partner with President Tshisekedi as he works to realize the Congo’s full potential.