The International Monetary Fund on Thursday July 11th said it had agreed to extend $448.6 million in a loan to the Republic of Congo over three years, to help develop the economy of the tiny central African oil producer.
The country, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, and according to the Financial Times Africa’s third-largest oil producer, had been negotiating with the IMF for two years over a rescue plan, after its economy has suffered as a result of the collapse of world oil prices, which plunged it into deep recession.
The IMF said it authorised an immediate payment of a $44.9 million tranche of the loan.
The IMF had called for action on corruption, debt and poor governance. It had in the past accused Brazzaville of hiding part of its debt from the organisation. And NGO Global Witness warned that disclosures about the Congo’s terms over oil-backed loans remain unclear.
The Congo's troubles have been exacerbated by the fall in the price of world oil and dwindling crude reserves, as the petroleum industry accounts for much of its economic output.
However, the IMF’s Mitsuhiro Furusawa said “the authorities have implemented an ambitious package of reforms to improve governance, ” and called on the Congo to continue with its programme of debt restructuring, and strengthening human capital, to promote economic diversification and achieve more inclusive growth.