petrole2While a general strike also known as ville morte can prove to be politically successful, from the economic perspective, experts talk of 10 million US Dollars lost in Kinshasa for a single day on strike.

Whenever a ville morte is called, Kinshasa inhabitants are faced with a dilemma: either venture out at your own risk heedless of the call or stay home and ultimately waste a day. But whichever it is individuals choose to do, the bottom-line is that the economic loss is enormous.

Interviewed by Zoom Eco economic media, Al Kitenge, a Strategist and Economic Analyst, indicated that the daily loss when Kinshasa grinds to a halt or delays business start only by a few hours stands at a staggering 10 million US Dollars.

To substantiate his views, Kitenge first mentioned the public transport which “an estimated 2 million people in Kinshasa use to go to and from their various activities. Each errand costs at least 1 US Dollar, thus leading to a dead loss of 2 million US Dollars”.

The economic analyst further mentioned business activities in Kinshasa downtown which generate 5 to 6 million US Dollars on a daily basis. Which means a day off, whether in the form of a strike or a national holiday, equates with 6 million US Dollars wasted.

The third element cited by Kitenge is the fact that “the daily share of salaries for the ville morte will be paid to employees in private sector companies, even though no work was done. Employees fail to report to work on a ville morte day against their will”.

Those that loose the most are businesses in the private sector and the ordinary Kinshasa inhabitants who make a living on a day to day basis. The State is also affected in that any loss in the private sector translates in less taxes collected by the government.

Given the economic and development challenges facing the DRC, the analyst concluded that “less useful official holidays leading to economic losses and reduced competitiveness of the country should simply be removed”.

That being said, political stability and good governance are the drivers of economic growth. So this begs the question of while nation-wide strikes called by the opposition result in economic loss, do they not pave the way for sustainable economic gains through inducing democracy?

With Zoom Eco