Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chinese Roads in the DRC: Status?

A Danish reader, Jan Jensen, wrote with a question about the status of the Chinese infrastructure package in the DRC. A lot was pledged in the contract originally signed five years ago. This contract was substantially revised in the wake of pressure from the IMF and the West, concerned about the DRC's sovereign guarantees. I don't think the mine has yet begun to produce copper, but I haven't been following this project (and am too swamped with my job and house transitions to look into it now!). Jensen wrote that he had seen a BBC article several years ago about Chinese tarmacking of the 100 km road from the Zambian border to Lumumbashi, but hadn't seen much since then. Has anyone been following this?


Philippa Brant said...

The most recent (and comprehensive) update I've seen is from Johanna Jansson in her report on the Sicomines agreement, published by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in October 2011. There's a table on pg 17 that lists the status of the infrastructure projects as at June 2011 - based on her PhD fieldwork interviews in the DRC.

Deborah Brautigam said...

Thanks so much Philippa
Here's the link to Johanna's excellent paper:

Johanna Jansson said...

Thanks Deborah for raising this question, it is indeed a very important matter for the DRC and it has been given very little attention since the renegotiation. And thanks for linking to the SAIIA paper. I am currently in Kinshasa doing more field work on this, and an article with new analysis will be coming soon. Best, Johanna