President Tshisekedi Told Ministers He Intended To Stop Unidentified Politicians And Bureaucrats From Wasting Mining Assets

Tshisekedi

According to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, President Felix Tshiekedi, mining permits should be halted until the mining registry is thoroughly investigated.

Tshisekedi declared that he wants to put a halt to the wasting of mining assets by unidentified political players and personnel engaged in the administration of the mining register, which records mining concessions, according to the Reuters news agency on Saturday. Joseph Kabila inked a $6 billion “infrastructure-for-minerals” arrangement with Chinese investors when he was president of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Since taking office, Tshisekedi has requested a review of mining contracts with China inked by his predecessor in 2008. Tshisekedi wanted the “technical and financial parameters of Sino-Congolese contracts,” according to a statement published during a cabinet meeting.

While the DRC is the world’s greatest producer of cobalt and copper, the World Bank estimates that over 70% of its people live below the poverty line. According to transparency advocates, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has allegedly lost billions of dollars in mining revenue over the last 20 years.

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President Joseph Kabila, who ruled the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2001 to 2019, made a $9 billion agreement with the Chinese in 2008 for minerals in exchange for infrastructure. The arrangement was very contentious.  The IMF, concerned about the effect on the country’s financial predicament, pushed the purchase price to be reduced to two-thirds of its original amount. A total of $2.74 billion has been disbursed by the Chinese government so far.

China provided the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) some debt relief earlier this year to help the government cope with the economic consequences of the epidemic. Thus, the DRC was spared from repaying China’s interest-free loans that were set to mature at the end of 2020. The administration refused to divulge the amount of money involved. China has pledged more than $2 billion in debt relief to impoverished countries as part of a G20 framework to help those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. At a joint press conference in Kinshasa, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced the new deal.

According to research conducted by Johns Hopkins University’s China Africa Research Initiative, between 2000 and 2018, Chinese companies provided 53 loans to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More than half were given to power, transportation, and mining firms.

After a disputed 2018 presidential election, Tshisekedi and Kabila reached a power-sharing arrangement. Although he has steadily gained control of almost all of the government’s powers, he has also grown more vociferous in his criticism of President Joseph Kabila’s mining accords. If a mining company fails to meet its administrative and social duties, Tshisekedi believes it should lose its license. Antoinette N’Samba, the Minister of Mining, was in the room.

He asked N’Samba to identify mining enterprises where the state did not acquire a 10% ownership when the license was switched from exploration to exploitation.

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