Congo: Congo weighed down by US$9.14bn public debt

Brazzaville, Congo (PANA) – With its estimated public and publicly-guaranteed debt of about US$9.14 billion (CFAF 5,329 billion), equivalent to 110 percent of GDP, the Republic of Congo faces significant macroeconomic imbalances, according to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team that on Wednesday concluded a 10-day mission to the country’s capital, Brazzaville.

“Economic activity is contracting further, while government deposits are declining. Against this backdrop, the government accumulated external and domestic arrears, despite a significant fiscal adjustment,” said a statement issued by the mission head, Mr. Abdoul Aziz Wane.

According to the official, the debt figure was based on information provided by the Congolese authorities as of end-July 2017. This figure does not include debt under litigation or domestic arrears accumulated since 2014.

The IMF staff team went to Brazzaville to collect information, reassess the country’s debt, discuss cash management with the authorities, and conduct a scoping for a diagnostic study on governance issues.

“The IMF team welcomed the authorities’ commitment to conduct a diagnostic study on governance issues, with assistance from the Fund, to identify visible and credible measures to improve governance and tackle corruption,” said Mr. Wane.

“The mission took note of the authorities’ intention to improve the governance of public enterprises, including oil companies. It encouraged them to strengthen the integrity of budget and cash management processes, and prioritise spending to avoid the accumulation of arrears,” he added.

Findings of the mission will inform the next steps toward a possible IMF-supported programme to restore macroeconomic stability, and promote sustained and inclusive growth, said the statement, welcoming the Congolese authorities’ commitment to take measures to restore debt sustainability in the medium-term with the support of their financial and legal advisors.
-0- PANA AR/MA 5Oct2017

05 october 2017 06:31:18

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