DRC agrees on terms for lending programme ~ IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) building sign is viewed on April 5, 2016 in Washington, DC.
This years Spring Meetings events will take place in Washington, DC, April 12-17, 2016. Thousands of government officials, journalists, civil society organizations, and participants from the academia and private sectors, gather in Washington DC for the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group. / AFP / Karen BLEIER (Photo credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

An International Monetary Fund delegation said on Friday that it had agreed terms with Democratic Republic of Congo for a financial assistance package that would allow the IMF to resume lending to Congo for the first time since 2012.

The IMF suspended its last aid to Congo – a loan programme worth more than $500 million – after the government failed to provide sufficient details on the sale of state mining assets to an offshore company.

President Felix Tshisekedi took office in January and has tried to repair relations with foreign donors that had frayed during his predecessor Joseph Kabila’s 18 years in power.

IMF delegation leader Mauricio Villafuerte told reporters in the capital Kinshasa that the terms of the Rapid Credit Facility would be submitted to the IMF board in mid-December for final approval.

“The economic situation (in Congo) is very difficult now because of weakness controlling spending during the political transition and new spending initiatives,” Villafuerte said.

It was not immediately clear how much the programme would be worth.

Congo is Africa’s top copper producer and the world’s leading miner of cobalt, a key component in electric car batteries. But it is one of the world’s least developed countries, due largely to corruption and poor governance.