The Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon, welcomes the outcome of his visit to New York and Washington from 3 to 9 February
KINSHASA, Dem. Rep. of Congo (DRC) February 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, states: “National economic performance, the orthodox management of public finances and the concerted efforts of the authorities in combating corruption were commended by all those I had the opportunity to meet”.
On return from his official visit to New York and Washington, from 3 to 9 February, the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon, held a press conference in Kinshasa, on 14 February.
He talked notably about his meeting with Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, on 4 February. Concerning the situation in the Nord-Kivu region, both leaders expressed their agreement on the signature, planned before the end of this month, of the regional framework agreement making provision for the deployment of an intervention force in this province. They additionally discussed a restructuring of the mandate of the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).
This framework agreement is due to be signed by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola, the Republic of Congo, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Southern Sudan, the Central African Republic and the United Nations. “The intervention force will be deployed under the MONUSCO banner and several SADC countries are prepared to provide the necessary troops”, further indicated the Prime Minster.
Concerning the amendment of the MONUSCO mandate, the Prime Minister – who received guarantees regarding the arrival of drones in the region between June and July – expressed his hope that this would allow the UN troops “to intervene in order to ensure peace which is under threat by armed groups”.
Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon also held meetings with several other US leaders: Chris Smith and Karen Bass (Chair and Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Africa in Congress), Wendy Sherman (Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs), Robert Hormats (Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment), Johnnie Carson (Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs), Neal Wolin (Acting Secretary of the Treasury), William Joseph Burns (Deputy Secretary of State) and Grant Harris (Special Assistant to the President, Barack Obama, and Senior Director for African Affairs). “The US authorities reiterated their call to those people who support the armed groups to stop”, stated the Prime Minister.
Concerning the economy, on 7 February, Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon met with Christine Lagarde, Director General of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank. After outlining the economic performance of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the leaders of these two international organisations expressed their desire to continue to work alongside the Congolese government. “This is a definitive commitment”, indicated the Prime Minister.
On the issue of the suspension of the programme by the IMF, on 30 November 2012, due to a lack of transparency in the mining sector, Christine Lagarde and Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon both called for “a fresh start”. The Prime Minister stated: “The issue of transparency in the mining sector will be dealt with within the framework of bilateral discussions”, having already signed two decrees in January outlining the terms and conditions for the transfer of mining assets.
The Prime Minister then concluded that “under the leadership of the Head of State, Joseph Kabila, we are determined to implement new governance”.
Reminder of the main economic figures for 2012.
Between 2009 and 2012, the annual growth rate in the Democratic Republic of Congo rose from 2.8% to 7.2%, with inflation falling from 46% to 2.7% (a performance not achieved by the country since 1976). The Congolese Franc remained stable, and both public and private investments significantly increased. Tax collections were optimised and public funds more than doubled, whilst national wealth also doubled. Growth forecasts for 2013 stand at 8.2%. It is the first time since 1973 that growth in the Democratic Republic of Congo will rise above 8%.
The government has also launched a series of self-funded programmes which amount to circa 200 million dollars (agriculture, transportation, energy, roads, education, etc.). Civil servant salaries have been “banked”. Mining production figures have exceeded the historic levels between 1970-1980, with over 600,000 tonnes of copper being produced in 2012.
Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Roger Ndaywel Fay, advisor responsible for communication and foreign relations for the Prime Minister.
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Philippe Perdrix, 35°N agency.
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