BEIJING, 07 January 2021, (TON): China has granted some debt relief to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to help it overcome economic fallout from the pandemic, the Congolese foreign ministry said on Wednesday.
The deal was announced at a joint press conference in Kinshasa with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
“As Congo’s most reliable friend, China wishes to continue to make its contribution to Congo’s development,” Wang was quoted as saying in the Congolese ministry’s statement.
According to Johns Hopkins University’s China Africa Research Initiative data, Chinese entities have extended 53 loans to the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 2000 and 2018, amounting to a total of $2.4bn. Mostly the lending was focussed on the power, transport and mining sectors.
China has extended debt relief worth over $2bn to developing countries under a Group of 20 (G20) framework aimed at giving those affected by the crisis driven by pandemic fear, some financial breathing space.
Meanwhile, Congo is a major cobalt and copper producer and reportedly, in recent years has attracted billions of dollars in investment from Chinese miners.