DR Congo president seeks evaluate of mining contracts with China

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Democratic Republic of the Congo is looking for what it says is a fairer share of its huge mineral wealth.

Felix Tshisekedi, the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has referred to as for a evaluate of mining contracts signed with China in 2008 by his predecessor, saying he wished to get fairer offers.

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An announcement after a cupboard assembly on Friday stated Tshisekedi referred to as for the “technical and financial details of Sino-Congolese contracts” on the subsequent assembly.

“DR Congo is sorely lacking in infrastructure and this hampers its development,” the assertion stated.

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Former President Joseph Kabila, who held energy from 2001 to 2019, negotiated a extremely contentious minerals-for-infrastructure contract with the Chinese in 2008 valued at $9bn.

But the deal was lowered to two-thirds of that quantity beneath stress from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which famous the extreme impact it had on the nation’s funds.

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To date, about $2.74bn has been disbursed by the Chinese to date.

Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin (L) escorts Former President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as they evaluate a guard of honour throughout a welcoming ceremony on the Great Hall of the People in Beijing [File: Goh Chai Hin/AFP]

During a go to to the mining city of Kolwezi in May, Tshisekedi introduced his intention to renegotiate mining contracts, significantly these concluded by Kabila.

“It is not normal that those with whom the country has signed exploitation contracts are getting richer while our people remain poor,” he stated.

“It is time for the country to readjust its contracts with the miners in order to seal win-win partnerships.”

Earlier this yr, China granted some debt reduction to the DRC aimed toward serving to it overcome the financial fallout from the pandemic.

As a outcome, the DRC didn’t need to repay its interest-free loans from China that matured on the finish of 2020. The ministry didn’t say how a lot this amounted to.

According to information gathered by Johns Hopkins University’s China Africa Research Initiative, Chinese entities have prolonged 53 loans to the DRC between 2000 and 2018. Most of the lending was targeted on the ability, transport and mining sectors.

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