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DRC and Chinese companies agree to invest in infrastructure

Kinshasa, Mar 15 (Prensa Latina) The president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Félix Tshisekedi, presided over the signing ceremony of a contract with the Group of Chinese Companies (GEC) to increase investment in infrastructure, Radio Okapi reported.

The agreement was renegotiated to increase the amount dedicated to these works from 3,2 billion to seven billion dollars, which represents the construction of at least five thousand kilometers of roads, according to the Congolese Minister of Infrastructure and Public Works, Alexis Gisaro.

This is the fifth modification of the contract between the DRC and the GEC, which was initially signed in April 2008. It also establishes Kinshasa’s participation in the management of the Sicohydro company in Busanga, with 40 percent.

The original agreement was established 16 years ago and provided for the concession of cobalt and copper deposits in exchange for the construction of infrastructure; however, last year the Congolese side considered the agreement unfavorable to national interests and requested its review, which was undertaken by the General Finance Inspection.

As part of the new formulation, a first disbursement of more than 700 million dollars is planned for emergency works in the city of Kinshasa and on several roads of national interest.

According to Radio Okapi, road construction works will begin in Kinshasa, Grand Équateur, Kasaï Oriental, Haut-Lomami and Lualaba within a month.