IMF Weighs New Program for Congo as Backdrop Improves

(Bloomberg) --

The International Monetary Fund is considering a new financing partnership with the Democratic Republic of Congo following renewed discussions between the two parties, Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga said.

“The IMF will examine within six months a short-term program with the government,” Ilunga said, according to an emailed statement from government spokesman David-Jolino Makelele.

No further details about the proposed IMF assistance were given.

The IMF visited Congo in July to conduct its first annual review of the economy since 2015. President Felix Tshisekedi, in power since January, has sought to repair ties with the IMF, which deteriorated under predecessor Joseph Kabila.

Congo’s “peaceful political transition provides an opportunity to put in place transformational reforms to strengthen public finances, boost growth of the non-extractive sector, tackle corruption, and reduce widespread poverty,” the IMF said last month.

The IMF halted a $532 million three-year loan program for Congo seven years ago after Kabila’s government failed to publish details of a 2011 mining deal.

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