IMF-DRC deal: President Tishekedi’s intransigence on revising mining contracts finally pays off


The mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Calixte Ahokpossi, completed its mission in Kinshasa on May 8, 2024. The mission resulted in an agreement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF, with a duration of 3 years and amounting to 1,066 million SDR), or approximately 1, 52 billion dollars)

At the outset, it should be noted that most of the negotiations on this three-year program were led by Nicolas Kazadi, Minister of Finance of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, under the leadership of the President of the Republic, Mr. Félix Tshisekedi.

President Felix Tshisekedi has pushed through a revision of the 2008 DRC critical mine approval infrastructure deal with Sinohydro Corp and China Railway Group to bring more benefits to Congo.  This review led to the signing of an agreement between the Congolese government and Chinese groups in March.

President Félix Tshisekedi and his finance minister Nicolas Kazadi


This three-year program with the IMF, the first since Congo’s independence in 1960. This continental country with 9 borders is thus approaching the completion of the IMF program for the first time. Previous deals have been suspended due to issues including a lack of transparency in the vast mining sector.

“The results achieved under the (three-year) program were generally positive, with most quantitative targets met and key reforms implemented, albeit at a slow pace,” the fund said in a press release.

Mechanisms for proper management of received funds

Once approved by the IMF Executive Board, the agreement will allow for the disbursement of the final tranche of approximately $200 million.

The IMF noted that the world’s leading supplier of cobalt – a mineral used in smartphones, electric car batteries, etc. – and the world’s third largest copper producer must take into account the positive impact of the recently amended Sicomines joint venture with Chinese companies in its revised 2024 finance law.

“In addition, mechanisms will need to be established or strengthened to ensure the proper use and management of these funds,” the IMF said.

President Felix Tshisekedi has pushed through a revision of the 2008 DRC critical mine approval infrastructure deal with Sinohydro Corp and China Railway Group to bring more benefits to Congo. This revision led to the signing of an agreement between the Congolese government and Chinese groups in March.

“The IMF is concerned about the mechanisms for the use of this money and has asked that it be paid into the treasury account instead of being managed by the agency as it has been in the past,” a finance ministry official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. .

Among the conditions of the IMF is the publication of mining contracts

Disclosure of mining contracts was also one of the conditions of the IMF program. A demand that Congolese authorities have met, as earlier this month DR Congo shared long-awaited details of revised terms for Sicomines, which include about $7 billion in infrastructure investment from China, provided copper prices remain high.

Under the previous version of the agreement, only $822 million of the $3 billion pledged for infrastructure investment was paid out, according to a 2023 report by the DRC’s national auditor.

The revised agreement still contains terms that Congolese and international civil society organizations consider disadvantageous for the country. These include a tax exemption for Sicomines until 2040.

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