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China agrees to reschedule Congo’s debt

The president of China, Xi Jinping on Monday agreed to the restructuring of Congo's debt amounting to 1325 billion CFA…

The president of China, Xi Jinping on Monday agreed to the restructuring of Congo’s debt amounting to 1325 billion CFA francs.It is a breath of fresh air which Brazzaville needed. 

At a press conference held just after the telephone conversation between the two presidents, Robert Rigobert Andely, Congolese Minister of Finance, Budget and Public Portfolio, announced Xi Jinping’s approval of the proposal to restructure the Congolese debt issued by Denis Sassou Nguesso.

 

Speaking to the press, Andely said the Congolese and Chinese presidents had agreed to “refer the question of cost to experts (from both countries) to set the terms and conditions.” 

This would be the second restructuring since a first one was carried out in May-June 2019.

To convince China to grant a moratorium, the Central African country invoked the Covid-19 pandemic which according to the Minister of Finance has accentuated the economic crisis Congo currently faces.

According to Andely, the agreement reached with China should allow Congo to access more financial resources to “meet its needs” but also to restore its links with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Finance Minister of Congo acknowledged that the debt owed to China is “an obstacle” to the continuation of relations with the Bretton Woods institution through the Extended Credit Facility concluded in July 2019.

“Congo, unlike many states in the world, has not benefited from the Rapid Disbursement Facility for Covid-19 set up by the IMF,” the Finance Minister lamented.

According to Andely, these loans were used to carry out projects in Brazzaville, mainly: “the Corniche, the Twin Towers and the National Road 1…”

Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, the Congolese Minister for International Cooperation and the Promotion of Public-Private Partnership, said that Sino-Congolese relations are determined by the “global strategic partnership” signed in 2006.

The son of the Congolese leader also indicated that Presidents Denis Sassou Nguesso and Xi Jinping reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening this cooperation so that “the various projects initiated can continue.”

These include national telecommunications coverage, the transition from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT) and the rehabilitation of the Congo-Ocean railway.

 

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