30 October 2013, Johannesburg – South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have signed a crucial treaty on the Grand Inga hydropower project, which could eventually become the largest hydroelectric project in the world, with the potential to power half of the continent.
President Jacob Zuma made the announcement while addressing the Parliament of the DRC, after his arrival, accompanied by a strong ministerial and business delegation, for a two-day state visit on Tuesday.
Zuma said that the signing treaty was a major step towards the realisation of the long-cherished dream of the people of the DRC.
“I must convey how particularly pleased and excited I am by the progress taking place towards the realisation of the Grand Inga Hydropower Project. This incredible feat of human ingenuity, when completed, will have the capacity to power Africa and indeed to export electricity beyond the continent.”
The Grand Inga project will seek to harness the power potential of the Congo River, sub-Saharan Africa’s greatest waterway.
“South Africa is extremely proud to be working so closely with the DRC in realising this accomplishment,” Zuma said. “This represents one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken on the African continent, and one which will long be a resounding symbol of the rise of Africa and her people.”
SA ‘ready to share experience with DRC’
Zuma said South Africa stood ready to share its experiences and expertise in helping the DRC to further strengthen and deepen their democracy as well as to further entrench their impressive commitment to human rights.
“We look forward to extending and deepening the close relations between our two great nations. We can do this across the many areas of shared interest, and in pursuit of a better future for our two great nations and peoples.
“In the spirit of ubuntu, which means ‘I am because we are’, and which is a core principle underpinning the work of the South African government, we will continue to stand side by side with the DRC.
“We will work together in seeing this great nation assume its rightful place as a fellow powerhouse of the African continent.”