As SA runs out of power, a trip to the Congo by President Zuma could include a discussion on hydro-electric power.

Regional security, trade and post-conflict reconstruction initiatives are on the agenda during President Jacob Zuma ’s first state visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

SA has in recent years allocated millions of rand towards stabilising the DRC and rehabilitating its economy after decades of civil war that ended in 2003.

Through the Department of International Relations managed African Renaissance Fund, SA two years ago gave the DRC R20m to train officials within the public service.  Other initiatives included the deployment of South African soldiers as part of a United Nations project to prevent the resurgence of conflict.

A regional integration analyst at the Pretoria based economic research institute, Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies, said Mr Zuma was most likely to also raise the issue of energy supply with his Congolese counterpart President Joseph Kabila.

"The DRC is a water abundant country that could supply the whole region with energy security and the president (Zuma) would be looking at reviving the failed energy deal by Eskom to operate the Inga Dam," Bongani Motsa said.

Infrastructure Partnerships for African Development DRC and the Katanga Mining Briefings are two conferences taking place in the DRC from 3-4 and 6-7 October 2011, respectively.  The prestigious forum aims to bring investors face-to-face with DRC government decision-makers and other private investors in the power, mining and hydrocarbons sectors.  This mineral rich country needs serious investors and partners to industrialise and the power generation potential of the DRC is a well-known fact.

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