TOUGH ROAD AHEAD? DRC President Joseph Kabila
President Kabila
President Kabila

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila is in China to attend the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and celebrate DRC veterans who fought alongside Allied Forces during the war.

While in China President Kabila will meet various leaders including President Xi Jinping to review the status of current Sino-Congolese projects and discuss ways to strengthen and enhance relations between the two countries.

Over the last 25 years, Chinese investment in the DRC, as well as Congolese exports to China have grown at a rapid pace, with reports indicating that bilateral trade between the two countries accounts for approximately two percent of total Sino-African trade.

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In 2008, the Chinese government entered into a contract with the DRC government for US$6 billion worth of infrastructure projects—from the development of roads and railways to the construction of hospitals, health centers and universities in exchange for China’s participation in DRC’s mining investments.

In addition to contributing to the DRC’s infrastructure capabilities, the Sino -Congolese ventures have created thousands of jobs for the Congolese people, generated tax revenues for the DRC and provided a critical knowledge transfer between the two countries, a release states in part.

“The work we have done with Chinese investors represents a critical development and capacity-building endeavor for the DRC, improving the lives of Congolese across the country by boosting employment and the economy,” said Mr. Moïse Ekanga Lushyma, Executive Secretary of the Bureau for Coordination and Monitoring of the Sino-Congolese Programme.

He added: “These innovative projects strengthen key growth sectors and create opportunities for other foreign investors that are interested in capitalizing on the incredible potential of the DRC.”

Between 2008 and 2014 China invested US$459.764 million in ten infrastructure projects in the DRC, while this year China is set to invest US$250 million on public arenas, roads and solar projects.