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IMF: the moment of truth for the Republic of Congo

The directors of the International Monetary Fund were supposed to decide this Thursday whether or not to resume lending to the oil country of Central Africa. We remember that in 2017, the negotiations were suspended after the discovery of the size of the public debt, which had been hidden from the IMF. Last May, optimism came again after an agreement was reached with the country's largest creditor, China.

The IMF had made it a prerequisite for any resumption of aid, renegotiating with Chinese creditors this enormous public debt estimated at more than 3 billion dollars.

This is the first time that China and the IMF have co-ordinated their action in the context of a Fund assistance program.

On the terms of the China-Congo rescheduling agreements, there has been a lot of speculation. At the IMF headquarters on Thursday, we will perhaps know more about the terms of this agreement.

Congo-Brazzaville has a good chance of being granted this rescue plan of the IMF ?

In any case, the IMF teams that had completed their on-site mission last spring were hopeful that aid over three or five years would be released. The mission said it would recommend to the IMF's board of directors to agree.

Both because a favorable outcome has been found for the Chinese debt and because the state's fiscal position has improved significantly by reducing spending.

The IMF mission also urged the Congo to complete negotiations with its commercial creditors as soon as possible, chiefly the oil traders Glencore and Trafigura, whose claims exceed $ 1 billion.

We learned this week that another actor is claiming its billion, the Commissimpex company, in conflict for three decades with the State of Congo for infrastructure funding never honored.

With several favorable court rulings, its leader, Anglo-Lebanese Mohsen Hojeij, asks the IMF not to grant help until the dispute is settled.

And civil society also gives voice upstream of the IMF decision

If this aid plan is granted by the IMF, it will of course be a huge breath of fresh air for an asphyxiated Congolese economy.

But the NGOs that follow this issue closely, "Publish what you pay" or " Global Witness "(to name just two), call for transparency in country agreements.

They recall that the authorities of Brazzaville lied to the IMF on the scale of the debt, which is still unknown to date the conditions set by Beijing for the rescheduling of Congolese debt. In short, say these NGOs, it would be absurd to fall back into the same mistakes that led the country to its loss.

►In short,

In the midst of restructuring, Deutsche Bank will be in trouble with US justice

According to the Wall Street Journal , the powerful Justice Department (DoJ) is interested in the role of the German bank in a case of embezzlement of $ 3.5 billion from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. This is the scandal known as "1MDB".

US justice suspects that alongside Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank would have poured into this sprawling scandal that has cost the Malaysian state billions of dollars. According to the American newspaper, it is besides the fallen star of Goldman Sachs in Asia, Tim Leissner, which would have put the investigators on the track of the German bank. Who, for his part, pleads good faith.

The World Coffee Growers Forum opened yesterday in Campinas, Brazil

For this 2nd edition, it is the fall of the courses which is of all the debates. The price of the pound of coffee has risen from $ 1.5 in 2016 to less than $ 1 this year. As a result, small producers suffer. Their purchasing power has deteriorated so much that many people are thinking of joining the cohorts of peasants moving to the city or moving to the United States.

Among the tracks discussed at the Campinas forum, ask for a minimum price of $ 2 per pound and establish a direct link between producer and consumer.