— Published 7 June 2023

Kinshasa responds to Canadians

Will Canada be present at the Jeux de la Francophonie 2023? With less than two months to go before the sporting and cultural event, scheduled to take place in Kinshasa (DRC) from July 28 to August 6, an investigation by Radio-Canada reveals that federal, Quebec and New Brunswick authorities are concerned about delays in preparations. A delegation of representatives from the three entities visited Kinshasa at the end of last month. Their conclusions have not been made public. But according to a source “well-informed on the matter“, quoted by Radio-Canada, the mission was not as encouraging as had been hoped. So much so that the three delegations – Canada, Quebec and New Brunswick – are still hesitating to take their tickets. In the DRC, however, the news is reassuring. Now in Kinshasa full-time, the director of the International Committee of the Games of La Francophonie (CIJF), Zeina Mina, has visited some of the competition sites. “We have confidence in the President of the Republic, Félix Tshisekedi, and the Congolese government, she explained, quoted by the national media. We’ve seen major developments that meet the standards. The country has thought big, and maybe that’s why we’re a bit behind schedule. It’s beyond the requirements of the OIF. For table tennis and judo, in particular, the facilities are really very high quality.” Isidore Kwandja, director of the organizing committee, is equally optimistic. He explained to Radio-Canada that the transport issue had been resolved, thanks to the Congolese government’s delivery of around a hundred buses for the athletes, and the provision of a traffic lane reserved for accredited vehicles. In addition, some twenty ambulances are due to arrive in Kinshasa by June 15 at the latest.