DRC to Review $6 Billion Infrastructure Contracts with China
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is set to review its $6 billion “infrastructure-for-minerals” contract with Chinese investors, citing concerns they are not sufficiently benefiting Congo.
The government has formed a commission to reassess the reserves and resources at China Molybdenum’s Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt mine, seeking to lay claim to its rights fairly. Further, President Felix Tshisekedi also says that the 2007 deal signed with Chinese firms Sinohydro Corp and China Railway Group Limited was also under review to ensure it is fair and effective.
Under the deal struck with the former President Joseph Kabila, Sinohydro and China Railway agreed to build roads and hospitals in exchange for a 68% stake in the Sicomines venture.
According to Congo’s chamber of mines, Chinese investors control about 70% of Congo’s mining sector.
Meanwhile, the government plans to use half of the 1021.7 million Special Drawing Rights ($1.45 billion) allocated to Congo to shore up foreign currency reserves further.
Official data showed that bilateral trade reached $6.49 billion in H1% 2021, an increase of 108.9% year on year, while China’s industry-wide direct investment in the DRC amounted to $176 million. The DRC became the top destination for Chinese investment in Africa.