Over the past week, IMF First Deputy Managing Director, David Lipton visited the Democratic republic of Congo to discuss challenges the country is facing int he economy, as well as possible solutions to economic growth in these troublesome financial times.
Upon his visit, he met the Minister of Finance Henri Yav Mulang, Governor of the Central Bank Deogratias Mutombo Mwana Nyembo, members of parliament, members of business and civil society sector, including those outside his official visit sector such as the residents of the Kimbondo Orphanage, and students at the Gombe Public school and Protestant University in Congo.
Throughout his discussions with various people of DRC, he covered issues of maintaining economic and financial stability, economic diversification, poverty reduction, inequality issues and ways in which ass stakeholders can create jobs. Primarily, in the economy there were vast discussions on one of DRC’S leading natural resource: copper. He noted that although it poses challenges to the country’s economy he is impressed by the economic growth of the nation.
“I was impressed by the progress made over the last five years in bringing about economic stability and robust growth, which resulted in the DRC recording the third fastest growth rate in the world in 2014.” He said, at the end of his state visit. “I was also encouraged by the authorities’ intention to build on this record and to transform the DRC into a more inclusive economy.” He added.
He further applauded the ongoing dialogue through the annual consultations and sustained program of technical assistance. on the other hand, there are areas of development. “the policy agenda to take forward is sizable as the DRC still faces many challenges in achieving broad-based and more inclusive growth. These include: mobilizing domestic revenues to create fiscal space, including allowing adequate investment in social sectors, addressing the infrastructure gap to lay the foundation for future growth, and developing the financial sector so that it can fully contribute to the financing of development in the DRC.”
In closing he noted that the government needs to implement new drives to strengthen the financial sector as this will improve the business climate (through law enforcement) and create better governance and transparency to strengthen natural resource management.
DRC has proven its economic growth, looking at data sources from African Economic Outlook – DRC’s economy grew by 8.1% in 2013 from 7.2% in the previous year, with higher projections of 2014 and 2015 year. Although the economy keeps growing, fruits of growth aren’t spread to the masses. According to the CIA World Fact book, underemployment rate is at 81.7% and 8.9% of the population is unemployed. However, with a literacy rate of 67%, the labour force isn’t reflective of the educational fruits.