Few days to the presidential election in Congo, citizens are speaking out on their expectations after the March 20 polls.
“We expect the elected president to improve standards of living in the domain of education and employment. We need change on this issues,” Eudes Makoundou, an unemployed youth said.
Some youths in the streets of Brazzaville proposed that the elected president should invest more in the health sector.
“There are Congolese who die because they lack a thousand francs. While growing up, our grand parents recounted stories of free treatment in hospitals,” Giscard Diata, a driver in Brazaville said.
The unemployed youth complain that it is very difficult for them to make ends meet due to the inability to get jobs after graduation.
“There are many certificates out there. It is necessary to train youths on what they will end up doing like mechanics, agriculture and other things. Focus should be on agriculture. Youths do not want to practice agriculture. It has been abandoned to mothers who lack the necessary force. Youths are strong enough to work,” Giscard Dita said.
According to the IMF, the unemployment rate in Congo was around 34% in 2013 (last figures available) but has risen by 60% between 15-24 years. The fund fears there could be political tension and instability if progress is not recorded in the fight against poverty.
Incumbent president Denis Sassou Nguesso who has been in power for 32 years is standing for re-election in Sunday’s polls. He is being challenged by 8 other candidates.