DRC 2018: Stranded Assets in Goma, DRC

BrianGoma 2018

There have been so many bad charity projects in Africa. Most all start off with good intentions but often end in disaster, and no positive outcome for the communities. The problem starts when a group decides they want to help in Africa and comes up with some ideas. The ides aren’t based on research in Africa, it’s usually anecdotal. And even when it is based on research in Africa it usually doesn’t go the extra step to make sure the research is tied to a specific community and that community has been surveyed and interviewed to see if what the data says aligns with community needs. A lot of projects start with an idea, that idea gets funding and the idea is then brought with resources to Africa to implement.

Some projects never get implemented once in Africa and close before anything is done. Some make it to implementation phase and get implemented but are never used. Some make it through implementation, get built and go into operation and then stop because there was no sustainability built in to the plan.

An example is the Kinyerezi hydro-electric plant that was built on the border of Uganda and DRC. This hydroelectric plant was meant to be operated by a co-op but isn’t running today although it could provide a significant amount of power in its area. The plant was built but the local community wasn’t trained on how to do maintenance and day to day operations. So today there are some companies looking at taking this plant over but the geologic and political future is uncertain companies are unsure, so not willing to invest.
That’s a massively big example but there are so many more examples, hundreds of water wells built but sit inactive because no one knows how to operate or maintain them, or get parts or just about anything because this charity moved fast to get these wells in to Africa and didn’t think though the budget of training locals, operation or maintenance. These are stranded assets where the capital has already been invested and there is so much potential to do something great – but the asset just sits there,.. inactive.


We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Life is a gift. Living is a choice.