Oct 14

Past Event

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Pivotal 2011 National Elections

Event Materials



  • Congo Elections Must Be Transparent

    Mvemba P. Dizolele, Stanford University’s Hoover Institution: We’ve come up with a list of recommendations to address the technical aspects of the Congo elections and it begins with ensuring that the process is transparent.

  • Congo’s Illiterate Population Will Need Help in Election

    Anthony W. Gambino, Consultant: Much of the population of the DRC is illiterate and incapable of reading and comprehending the ballot. Measures have to be taken to circumvent this problem.

  • Congolese People Will Determine their Fate

    John Mukum Mbaku: The international community’s help is desperately needed in the Congo but we should remember that all decisions concerning how the Congo is run should be made by the Congolese people.

    John Mukum Mbaku


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Much is at stake as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) prepares for a pivotal round of national elections on November 28. While violence and security issues have marred the country’s recent history, multi-party elections in 2006 produced democratic gains and this round of elections may push the DRC even closer to becoming a vibrant democracy. However, questions remain as to how the elections will affect the country’s major challenges, including a rapidly growing population, low job growth, and the lingering threat of authoritarianism.

On October 14, Foreign Policy and the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings hosted a discussion on the current situation in the DRC featuring a keynote address from Maria Otero, under secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Following Otero’s remarks, a panel examined the elections and broader efforts to stabilize the country. Panelists included Mvemba Dizolele and Anthony Gambino, authors of a recent Eastern Congo Initiative Report titled, "Technical Issues Threaten Free, Fair, and Transparent Elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo." They were joined by Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow John Mukum Mbaku. Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon, director of research for Foreign Policy, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.

After the program, the participants took audience questions.

Event Agenda

  • Introduction and Moderator

  • Keynote Speaker

    • Maria Otero

      Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs

      U.S. Department of State

  • Panelists

    • Mvemba P. Dizolele

      Duignan Distinguished Visiting Fellow

      Stanford University’s Hoover Institution

    • Anthony W. Gambino

      Independent Consultant and Former USAID

      Mission Director to the DRC

    • John Mukum Mbaku

      Nonresident Senior Fellow

      The Brookings Institution


October 14, 2011

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105