The Congolese government signed on Thursday in the presence of President Félix Tshisekedi, with the Chinese Business Consortium (GEC), the 5th amendment to the 7 billion USD Chinese Contract for the DRC to acquire 6,000 km of roads.

A first disbursement of more than 700 million USD is planned for emergency roadwork in the city of Kinshasa and some national interest roads.

In one month, it’s reported, the construction of the roads will be launched in Kinshasa, Grand Équateur, Eastern Kasaï, Upper Lomami, and Lualaba. In Kinshasa, the 2024 work schedule plans the construction of the Mbudi – UPN – Kimwenza – Ndjili Brasserie – Ndjoko Avenue – Ndjili Airport road. The Gombe – Long du Fleuve – Ndjili Airport road is also part of this plan.

In the interior of the country, the project involves the Mbujimayi – Muene Ditu – Kaniama – Kalemie – Luena – Nguba axis. The fourth axis concerns Mbujimayi – Kabinda – Kindu – Bukavu – Goma.

Akula in the Grand Équateur is also selected.

During a visit to China in May 2023, the Head of State, considering this contract unfavorable to Congolese interests, had discussed this issue with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

This 5th amendment restores balance in this win-win partnership between the parties. It consecrates the upward revision of the investment amount for infrastructure (from 3.2 to 7 billion USD). For the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Works, “This represents the construction of more or less 5,000 km of roads”.

Similarly, it enshrines the participation of the DRC in the capital of the Sino-Congolese Hydroelectric (Sicohydro) Busanga (60% for the GEC and 40% for the DRC) and the distribution of shares of the Sino-Congolese Mines (Sicomines), 68% against 32%, until the total repayment of loans linked to the Sino-Congolese cooperation project.

Boni Tsala