Corruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is an endemic problem, and seriously inders businesses operating in the country. It permeates all levels of government and all sectors of the economy, rendering the country’s investment in development as one of the least competitive. Clientelism, rent-seeking and patronage have decimated fair competition, particularly in the sectors of public procurement. Corruption has also impeded efforts to increase the transparency of public services.
Governement funded projects
Many development projects aimed at improving the quality of life in communities suffer from problems at every stage, from design to implementation and maintenance. Such problems in the context of the DRC, can be caused by a number of factors, including poor implementation, embezzlement of funds, use of substandard material, diversion of funds due to corruption, and lack of monitoring and evaluation.
The health sector is also experiencing serious problems after more than a decade of conflict has weakened the health system and reduced its ability to meet the needs of the population. In 2013, the DRC ranked last on 168 countries on the Human Development Index. With 74% of the population living more than five kilometers from a health center, health services are often inaccessible and essential inputs such as medicines and staff are often unavailable. Lack of funds, as well as financial mismanagement and corruption, have led to dependence on high user costs and unofficial user payments to help cover staff salaries, operational costs and costs. In addition, patients are often required to purchase the drugs and supplies needed for surgeries and other health services. The high cost of health care also limits access, since the majority of households can hardly afford it. This translates into low utilization rates.
Many young people in DRC still struggle to attain a good education. Decades of civil war as well as the government’s weakness has devastated educational infrastructure and institutions in DRC. As a result many young people are left behind and fail to gain the skills they need to secure their future. Education accounts for less than 3% of government expenditure, well below the average for sub Saharan Africa, and contributes to 56% of youth in DRC currently not attending secondary school . Furthermore, a lack of control from central government, combined with instability especially during elections, means that the constant threat of violence breaking out hangs over the country.