Abstract

Edouard Luboya of Zaïre, a representative of the private sector in Zaïre, began the discussion by suggesting that the presentations from Côte d’Ivoire and Mali showed that there was no point in deferring privatization—a rebuttal to some who had advised that countries spend decades establishing sound economic fundamentals, as Asian countries had done, before embarking on privatization. Moreover, Luboya argued, Zaïre’s experience in recent years pointed to the same conclusion about timing. With the country in crisis, the private sector had stepped in and taken the initiative, particularly in the area of infrastructure. As a result, Zaïre now had more than 20 airlines covering the entire national territory, with some of them also able to service international routes. Cellular phones were now available, with prices dropping. And many large companies had training centers with physicians and modern equipment. All of those developments demonstrated that countries could move very swiftly on privatization. At the same time, however, Luboya noted that further progress had been inhibited by the frequent tension between the private and public sectors—a legacy of a misunderstanding that had existed ever since independence—but hopefully those disputes could soon be resolved.