President of the Generation Z, elected from the district of Gamboma2, the largest constituency in Congo, Antoine, 26, is fighting hard for rural development in his country.
He is one of 150 Young African leaders to participate from 20 to 27 June in Beijing and Sichuan in China at the 3rd China-Africa festival.
In Sichuan, where Agridigitale met him, Antoine open heart, has delivered his vision of the continent, his country Congo, which, according to him, is a real safe of the wealth of the world.
He called the youth to get serious about work.
"African youth must love their country. Each of us must think about what he can bring to his country and to be rigorous to sacrifice. That's the price to pay for itself in the world", he said in this exclusive interview to the Agridigitale newspaper.
What did you learn from this 3rd China-Africa festival ended in Sichuan in China?
In any case, I am very surprised and very impressed. Until now, until this moment, I am wondering if the Chinese were robots? Because they work without loosening, effortless, anytime with speed and rigour. What I remember first, is that the Chinese are working and if they arrived today at this level of development, it is thanks to the work and goodwill. Chinese think of their country, they want to give something to their country.
They think of their country before of themselves. They think first of the nation and the development of their country.
Which message to African youth?
I will be very hard with the youth of Congo. Because I realize that there is not another secret or magic that brought China to the development if it was not only the work. Young people must work, work for the country. Young people must think of the country.
Each of us must think about what he will bring to the country. We have a very rich country that is a safe of the wealth of the world. There is a bit of everything in Congo. Then, if young Congolese, young Africans want to become like China, it is only through the work. First, it is a matter of wanting. If they really want to become like China. And this can be achieved by hard work, by discipline, by sacrifice. So we must forget ourseleves and think of the country.
And the first thing that we have in our various countries, it is the land, a fertile land suitable for agriculture. Our land, today are still blank. Our countries are blank. Each of us should target an area and put it back. That is the only sacrifice to do to push our States to development.
Precisely speaking of land, your country Congo has a lot. But why agriculture is struggling to take off?
It's true, we're not at the top like China! But I think that the will of the president of the Republic who has been demanding for a moment, even to the Ministers to get engaged into agricultural activities, is already a very nice approach. Some have already done it, and it's coming.
Each of us in his little village has a field and I think that young people should take ownership.
I'm thinking even to propose a law or even suggest, if it is of the regulation to the Department of education that young people, to get the Bachelor or the BEPC, they need to make a field for the State that will give them the Earth. Youth, to graduate must bring something to the State on what he makes. It's a kind of gift to the State.
At one point, we need a dictatorship in this sense. If we can impose that on young people, we will move forward in agriculture.
But I remain convinced of one thing. Now that everyone speaks of agriculture, there are people who travel, who look at others who are inspired and Africa within a few years will be large and well-developed.
Young people think that the Earth doesn't work. They Can't build their life being a peasant. What do you think?
But these young people are wrong! Thinkt that doing agriculture, is to be small, poor guy, they are wrong. When someone like the president of the Republic at home, its main activity is agriculture, when those who are Ministers will do agriculture, how many times they are in the village? Can we become a millionaire by being Professor of philosophy? No! Young people today after their Baccalaureate will suscribe for philosophy at the University, it's a real mess.
Our country has no need of a Philosophe. Also, you are studying Platon, Platon has nothing to do with us. Yes we need to know what he said, his thoughts but in the concrete, to the present day, there now, in our country, there is no need to learn Platon and others.
You said earlier that even president Denis Sassou Nguesso's main business is agriculture. What does he grow ?
President Denis Sassou Nguesso has many plantations of tomatoes. The president embarked on the tomato because there may be enough at home. Me, in my constituency, If I want to do agriculture, it would be the Yam. Each of us must learn about the Congo.
We must first know the Congo everywhere, each sector compared to ones passions, compared to what we love to see, what we can bring. We don’t ask everyone to do agriculture. If everyone do agriculture today who will buy from whom? This is not what is required.
People, each of us must think about what he can give, what he can change, and succeed to work. People must forget about themselves for a little bit. And think of the country.
In addition to the festival in China, you were exchanging with many investors. What are the sectors that work in Congo?
In the area of agriculture and medicine. I convinced investors to come to build in Congo hospitals, to put in place the infrastructure of telecommunications and mobile networks. They can gain much by investing in these sectors.
Congo is a real safe, there is a bit of everything. Investors can come and consult the investment promotion agency and each of us, each of them can begin in one area.
There is a bit of everything here, otherwise there is everything. Even in tourism, today, we are one of the few countries to have a river and the sea. This is an area where we can invest. Today, we're talking about the ecological transition to green economy and our president is an avid activist, a very pragmatic president. If today, the Congo basin is destroyed, I think it's the world that is going to be destroyed.
I think after the Amazonia, it is the Congo basin. Investors may be interested in the environmental, tourist projects. Me, I prefer to forget petrolium because it makes many stories for ong to Congo. We counted on petrolium, today we're drowned. It is in this sense that it is one of the initiators of the blue Fund which is today and international fund which aims to fund environmental protection projects. Our country is part of the Congo basin which is today the second Global Lung and the world should mobilize around that kind of environmental project for the future of humanity.
Is the climate business really favourable to potential investors?
Of course Yes! To do business, the first of the climate or the first aspect is peace. Congo is a peaceful country and open. There are roads, infrastructure, we can do across the country already in car, there is a railroad, there are airports everywhere. I think it's the No. 1 factor, peace and the number 2, is infrastructure.
In one or two sentences, if you are asked to sell the Congo, what will you say?
Congo is a country rich, open, welcoming a little more tolerant where there are opportunities. with loving Congo, have the will, be serious, think about a win-win partnership and I think you can do business in our country .
The fight for African States today, is to make the African Union, a force of proposal and for African youth, is working. African youth must love their country. Each of us must think of what he can bring to his country and to be rigorous to sacrifice. That's the price to pay in order to win in the world.