The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) envoy to the United Kingdom says his government is excited after receiving a recent “favorable” rating from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Ambassador Kikaya Karubi said the IMF rating shows the country has made significant economic strides despite years of instability.
“It shows that we are resolutely on the way to recovery…by May next year we will be eligible to the forgiveness of 90% of the $14 billion that we owe the IMF…that means that the moneys that we pay the IMF every month to the tune of $15 million can go into investing in social programs, which is good for the people,” he said.
The IMF recently approved a three-year $551.45 million arrangement as part of its Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) for Congo.
John Lipsky, a first Deputy Managing Director at the IMF was quoted as saying “The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has made important socio-economic progress since 2001, demonstrated by the political transition to a democratically-elected government, robust rates of economic growth, and the taming of hyperinflation. Nonetheless, socioeconomic conditions remain poor; the country’s infrastructure is dilapidated; and the country’s external debt is unsustainable. The global economic crisis has further aggravated these conditions”.
Congo recently came under international criticism after signing a barter agreement with China.
Karubi said, under the agreement, China is scheduled to build thousands of kilometers of new roads and railway tracks, and hundreds of new schools and clinics across the country.
He said China, in return, will receive rights over mines containing more than 10 million metric tons of copper and 600,000 tons of cobalt.
But Karubi said the agreement will benefit Congolese.
“The Chinese are in the Congo to build the basic infrastructure that the Congo needs…and we did an exchange, a barter trade for some base metal mining contract that they have been exploiting in the Congo and this as far as the president is concerned is the basic condition for the Congo to recover and become a developed country,” Karubi said.
He denied government officials benefited financially from the agreement with China.