This chapter looks at territorial decentralisation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The new framework for decentralisation at the local level provided for by the Constitution of 18 February 2006 was designed to achieve two main purposes: to create multiple centres of governance at the local level in order to bring the administration closer to the people, and in this way end decades of dictatorship caused by the excessive concentration of powers in the hands of the president; and to foster a culture of national unity through the promotion of local development. However, although several pieces of legislation have been adopted, the adoption of legal texts alone has not been enough to advance the course of territorial decentralisation. Thus, in spite of the good intentions of the constitutional drafters, the goal of creating a genuine system of local governance in which communities are able to play an active role has not succeeded.
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