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Former Congo Prime Minister Delivers Lecture on Leadership and Good Governance

Former Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, His Excellency Prof. Matata Ponyo Mapon, speaking to senior industry leaders attending the Global CEO - Africa Programme at SBS.

The former Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, His Excellency Prof. Matata Ponyo Mapon delivered a public lecture on the Role of Leadership and Good Governance in the Development Process in Africa on February 14, 2020, at the University auditorium. The public lecture was moderated by Dr. Robert Mudida, an Associate Professor of Political Economy at the Strathmore University Business School.

H.E. Matata Ponyo Mapon has over two decades of experience in public administration. His career began in 1988 at the Central Bank of Congo, where he worked for 12 years before joining the Ministry of Finance as the principal advisor on macroeconomic policy and relationships with the Bretton Woods institutions. From 2003 to 2010, he led the government agency tasked with executing development projects financed by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank among others. Two years later, in 2012, after serving as Minister of Finance, he was appointed Prime Minister.

Prof. Matata spoke on the need for quality leadership and the link between good governance and the role of transformational leaders in moving a state from underdevelopment to a developed state.  “Leadership does not come only from the legitimacy of the leader or of its hierarchical position but also from the capacity to orchestrate, set music and move the band forward. If some countries with resources take advantage of their endowments and others do not, it’s because in the first category of countries, leaders demonstrate thought-leadership and quality governance.”

Dr. Vincent Ogutu, Vice Chancellor Designate, in welcoming Prof. Matata mentioned the key highlights during his tenure as prime minister. “He increased budget allocation for education from 1% to 16%. This shows that he has continually invested in education: His investment in education and the youth should stimulate us to get the best in education.”

During his tenure as prime minister, the Democratic Republic of Congo experienced exceptional economic performance and the country was frequently praised as one of the most dynamic economies in Africa. He stepped down as prime minister in 2016 to focus on teaching and supporting development projects in education, healthcare and economic development through his think tank, Congo Challenge, and the Mapon Foundation. He has sponsored several students at Strathmore University through his foundation.

Strathmore has a vibrant Congolese community. Mastaki Bwinja, the Student Council Secretary General, organized the lecture which was also attended by Congolese students in Daystar University and United States International University (USIU). As part of the visit, Prof. Matata also spoke to senior industry leaders attending the Global CEO – Africa Programme at the Strathmore University Business School (SBS).


This article was written by Wambui Gachari.

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