China, Congo and the International Monetary Fund
Over the next several days we will deconstruct the Chinese Congo deal and the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Much of the exchanges have played out in rarified air on the pages of the Financial Times. We look to bring the exchange down to the ground so one can fully understand why we maintain that one of the challenges facing Congo since its modern founding is that it has been the subject of geo-political intrigue and battles resulting in the affairs of the Congo being determined by Great powers as opposed to the people of the Congo. Congo's very creation was a result of European geo-strategic interests at the 1884/85 Berlin/Congo conference.
The Paris Club is considering the the retirement of much of Congo's $11 billion debt as a direct result of the Congolese government succumbing to pressure from the International Monetary Fund and restructuring the $9 billion Chinese agreement to $6 billion.
In the upcoming blogs we will analyze four main elements:
1. $9 billion Chinese infrastructure for minerals swap/barter
2. The role of the IMF in shaping Congo's fiscal policies
3. Comparison and contrast between the Chinese deal and the Freeport McMoran Tenke contract
4. The role of the $11 billion debt accumulated under the West's dictator Mobutu Sese Seko (1960, 1965 - 1997)