A draft report describes the deal that was first signed in 2008 as “unconscionable” and urges Congo’s government to cancel an amendment signed secretly in 2017 that sped up payments to Chinese mining investors and slowed reimbursements of investment in infrastructure. The final report is expected to be released this month by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (Eiti), which tracks revenue flows in the oil and mining sectors and counts more than 50 countries, including Congo, as members. The report has no legal force but, if the draft’s main conclusions remain, it could bolster Congo’s push to secure more favourable terms from mining contracts with Chinese investors. Under the 2008 deal struck with the government of former President Joseph Kabila, Chinese state-owned firms Sinohydro and China Railway Group agreed to build roads and hospitals financed by profits from Congo’s Sicomines cobalt and copper joint venture. Critics say few of those projects have been realised.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY LIVE