THE IMPORTANCE OF A REAL ESTATE COMPANY IN THE CITY OF BUKAVU EASTERN D.R. CONGO

A FEASIBILITY STUDY DONE BY ELIJAH RUBONEKA AS A REQUIREMENT TO RECEIVE HIS DIPLOMA IN FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

INTRODUCTION
This paper is going to answer the following question: “Is Nehemiah Housing company
idea feasible? Nehemiah Housing company is an idea of starting a real estate company
in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to provide a solution for the growing need
of new settlement in Bukavu city and the surroundings.
The name of the company was carefully chosen, first because the Congolese people not
only are they Christian, but they are religious by nature. Secondly because of the story
behind the name Nehemiah. Nehemiah is a prominent character in the narrative of the
Bible. He is a young Jewish expat who despite his position in the foreign land where
he was serving and eating at the table of the King, he was still unfulfilled with that
position, and instead he used that opportunity to do the lobbying and influenced the
king’s decision of allowing him to go and rebuild his country Israel. He also used his
knowledge to mobilize his fellow countrymen for the same purpose. His story is similar
to the story of the Congolese young people today scattered all over the world for
different reasons, and the state of ruin in which their country is in today is similar to
the one of Israel at the time of Nehemiah. Nehemiah Housing company is a vision of
mobilizing Congolese in the diaspora from different parts of the world to defy the odds
and stand as men and women to respond to the overwhelming need of the people of
Congo. One of those needs is find a solution to housing problem in the city of Bukavu
in Particular and its surroundings.
This paper starts by defining key terms, then briefly introduces the problem
background, and a formulation of the problem question. Then the next step will be to
give a delimitation of the project. The remaining parts of this paper will deal with the
methodology used to collect data and then the analysis of the collected data, rounding
up the whole work with a general conclusion after giving some propositions.- 1 –
Definition of terms.
For the purpose of this study the following terms means:
Feasibility: refers to a successful project, taking into account legal, economic,
technological, scheduling and other factors,. (Investopedia, 2016), all this said and
done, feasibility in this paper simply means Profitable.
NHC: is a short form of Nehemiah Housing Company
SNEL: Service National d’ Eléctricité (a national company in charge of distribution of
Electricity in DRC) it is a public owned company (SNEL, 2014).
Regideso: A company dealing with the distribution of water (Regideso, 2008).
Diaspora: Congolese expats living outside their country, and scatted all over the world
for different reasons, it could be in Europe, in the Americas, in Asia or in Australia.
(Vocabulary, 2016)
Hectare or (ha): One of the least known metric units =10000 m2 or 100X100 m
A plot: A piece (parcel) of land owned or supposed to be owned by someone. In this
paper it measures about 25 X 25 m or 625 m2
DRC: Democratic Republic of Congo
Bukavu: one major city in the eastern part of Congo.
P2P: Peer to peer nontraditional lending companies – 2 –

  1. Problem Background
    For over 300 years, the city of Bukavu as part of a country known as Democratic
    Republic of Congo (DRC) has known nothing but suffering and injustices introduced
    by a man who chopped hands of the Congolese people killed over 10 million (Robinson,
    2013) in a genocide that nobody talks about, that man is Leopold II, he is said to be
    the worst of all colonizers who left the most horrid legacy in Africa (Dummett, 2004).
    After the death of Leopold II in 1907, the Belgian parliament decided to replace the
    previous, privately owned Congo Free State into a colony of Belgium continuing the
    plundering of the Congo and humiliating her people (BRITANNICA, 2016). InJune 1960
    DRC was proclaimed independent. But Seven months later in January 1961, the 1st
    Congolese Prime minister Lumumba was assassinated by the Belgians in complicity
    with the Americans (Guardian, 2011). His assassination was by many as the country’s
    original sin. It became a stumbling block to the ideals of national unity, economic
    independence and pan-African solidarity that Lumumba championed, it was a
    shattering blow to the hopes of millions of Congolese for freedom and material
    prosperity (Guardian, 2011). Then Mobutu became the new puppet of Belgium
    destroying even the little infrastructure left by the Belgians, he ruled for 32 years
    (1965-1997). The circle continued with Kabila throwing him out. Kabila will quickly be
    killed the same way Lumumba was, simply because he wanted the Congolese
    economical independency. But his dream again was quickly shut down, He was killed
    ironically the same date 17 January 2001 and Joseph Kabila junior became president.
    Though the Belgians were heartless and ruthless, they still built some cities and left
    some infrastructures, they left Congo not because they wanted it, but because they
    were forced to. They never prepared their exit, neither were they interested in doing so.
    In Bukavu for example, they left a real estate company known as Office National de
    lodgment ONL. The city of Bukavu which was originally supposed to host 18000 people
    is now home to almost a million people. With only an area of 60 km2, Bukavu has three
    major municipalities Bagira, Kadutu and Ibanda (Maroyi, 2014). All these
    neighborhoods are now overpopulated. The price of a small piece of land in Bukavu or
    a house is very expensive than it is in Kinshasa, Nairobi or even Kigali. House have – 3 –
    been built in prohibited places, because of broken legal system corruption and weak
    public services, causing erosion and other calamities (AIG regional conference by
    official university of Bukavu, university of Liege and Royal Museum for Central Africa,
    2011). There are no recreational places in Bukavu anymore, no public library, no place
    for children to play etc.…
    Creating a private real estate company could offer a solution to this growing demand
    of land in a concentrated area. It is worth noting that in areas surrounding the city of
    Bukavu as close as 15 Kilometers away, like Nyantende, land is almost 10 times
    cheaper.
    NHC idea is about buying a large piece of land in one of the villages surrounding
    Bukavu. Then subdivide that land, make a well-designed plan for construction, people
    can choose to build for themselves or seek the expertise of the company, but they
    should follow the plan so that there is some kind of uniformity and modernity. Then
    the company will be instrumental in making sure that basic infrastructures are put in
    place, like basic roads, sewages, power, water and securing that there is recreational
    place, playing ground for children, health facilities in the neighborhood, supermarket,
    educational facilities etc.…
    The company could manage build and sale houses for company and for interested
    investors. Because most of the investors may be living abroad, the company could also
    be offering services, like collecting rent for them, renovating houses, cabbages
    collections at fee among other activities.
    There is therefore a need to investigate if the idea is feasible, looking at all the legal
    political and economic factors and find out if the company will be able make a profit
    (Bredgaard, 2012) and the company to sustain itself in the long run.
  2. Problem statement
    Based on the above introduction and problem background the author has chosen to
    guide the research with the following problem statement:
    Is Nehemiah Housing Company proposal feasible?