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Cablegate: Dfa Fore's Meeting with Drc Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga

VZCZCXRO1194
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0279 0810847
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 210847Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7705
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000279

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL PGOV CG
SUBJECT: DFA FORE'S MEETING WITH DRC PRIME MINISTER ANTOINE GIZENGA


1.(SBU) USAID Administrator and Director of Foreign Assistance
Henrietta Fore discussed U.S. assistance and DRC needs with Prime
Minister Antoine Gizenga March 17 in Kinshasa. The tenor of the
meeting was friendly and positive. Fore was accompanied by
Ambassador Garvelink, Assistant Administrator Kate Almquist, Mission
Director Stephen Haykin, A/DCM David Brown, and Special Assistant
Wesley Wilson. Minister Godefroid Mayobo, Deputy Chief of Staff
Hugo Mwanza, and interpreter Barnabe Muyogo accompanied the Prime
Minister.

2. (SBU) Fore expressed U.S. readiness to aid Congolese development
efforts. Gizenga stressed that the DRC lacked viable infrastructure
48 years after independence. He said the DRC would benefit from
U.S. assistance in the construction, agriculture, and industrial
sectors. Fore noted that public works would create additional
economic benefits in the form of jobs.

3. (SBU) Fore recalled her trip to eastern DRC the previous day and
U.S. support for the Goma peace process. She highlighted the need
for educational, health, and economic assistance for women and
children, not only in the east but throughout the country. Gizenga
expressed appreciation for U.S. involvement in the Kivu peace
processes. He noted his personal record in support of women's
rights. He acknowledged that lack of educational opportunities can
push women into difficult circumstances, citing prostitution and
AIDS.

4. (SBU) Fore suggested that Gizenga help link the DRC government
and the Congolese people through radio addresses, capitalizing on
his long political history and respect in the DRC. She cited the
success of USG internet and text messaging programs in public
awareness campaigns. Gizenga expressed skepticism that the
Congolese public would follow the radio broadcasts, but said he
appreciated the value of technology in public education.

5. (SBU) Fore asked for Gizenga's perspective on the central African
region, noting the recent steps toward peace in Sudan, Uganda, and
eastern DRC. Gizenga stated that the intentions of national leaders
mattered most, and said his primary concern was to lift the
Congolese people out of poverty.

6. (SBU) Gizenga said that the DRC suffers from a flight of talent
due to lack of economic opportunity. He characterized the DRC as a
nation of dormant potential that has suffered during the past 50
years. Fore emphasized that the Congolese people are a sleeping
asset that can be empowered through education to build a prosperous
DRC.

7. (SBU) Comment: The Prime Minister was clearly not feeling well
during the meeting, and had hosted Fore in defiance of his own
doctors' advice. His interest in cooperation with the U.S. was
apparent, although he spoke mostly in generalities in articulating
development priorities and made little reference to his government's
programs other than the Governance Compact. End Comment.

GARVELINK

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