DR Congo’s Tshisekedi pitches for ‘massive’ Qatar investment
DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi and Qatar’s ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani have signed a deal on an expected “massive” influx of Qatari investment, Tshisekedi’s office said Tuesday.
Tshisekedi, head of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country, met the emir on Monday, it said on Twitter.
“Numerous agreements and protocols of understanding were signed… notably in the fields of economic, commercial and technical cooperation and aeronautic and maritime cooperation,” it said.
“These agreements deal in particular with protection for the massive investments expected between Qatar and the DRC (and) the modernisation and development of airport and port infrastructure.”
The size of the expected investments was not given.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has vast mineral wealth and agricultural potential, and a market of some 86 million people.
But it also struggling with deep poverty and inequality and a reputation for corruption and poor governance.
Tshisekedi took the helm in January 2019 after his predecessor, Joseph Kabila, stepped down after 18 years, paving the way for elections that led to the first peaceful transition in the DRC’s history.
His trip to Qatar came under attack from a prominent figure in the pro-Kabila camp — Barnabe Kikaya bin Karubi, former diplomatic advisor to the presidency and previously ambassador to London.
“What is Fatshi (Felix Tshisekedi) doing in Qatar, the No. 1 financier of world terrorism, this bane which is killing our people in the east?” he wrote.
Around 200 people have been killed in eastern DRC since the start of the year by a notorious armed group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which the United States says is affiliated to the so-called Islamic State group.