Mr. David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during March 5–7, 2015, and issued the following statement at the conclusion of the visit:
“I would like to thank Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon for his hospitality and our fruitful discussions during my visit. I also had the honor to meet Minister of Finance Henri Yav Mulang, Governor of the Central Bank Deogratias Mutombo Mwana Nyembo, members of parliament, and representatives of business and civil society.
“I was also pleased to have opportunities for engagement outside the official sector, including discussions with faculty and students at the Protestant University in Congo, a visit to the Kimbondo Orphanage, which provides shelter and health care to orphans and abandoned children, and where we were able to make a donation, and to talk to students at the Gombe public school. The energy, commitment and enthusiasm of the people I met was impressive.
“In my discussions with the authorities, we covered many important topics, including the challenges of maintaining economic and financial stability in a difficult domestic and global environment, how to diversify the economy, the need to further strengthen governance, as well as the pursuit of policies to create jobs and reduce poverty and inequality. We discussed the recent decline in copper prices and the challenges it poses for the DRC economy. 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. I was also encouraged by the authorities’ intention to build on this record and to transform the DRC into a more inclusive economy.
“I am pleased with our ongoing dialogue, in particular through our annual consultations and sustained program of technical assistance (TA), and look forward to finding ways to further develop this relationship. However, 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. It is also important that the government provides new impetus to some stalled structural reforms aimed at strengthening the financial sector (central bank and commercial bank laws), improving the business climate through enforcing the rule of law, and strengthening natural resource management through greater transparency and better governance.
“The IMF remains committed to assisting the DRC government to address these challenges and meet its development goals.”