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DRC: Louis Watum appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kamoa Copper SA

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DRC: Louis Watum appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kamoa Copper SA

Louis Watum, Country Director of Ivanhoe Mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has just been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kamoa Copper SA. According to the partners in this joint venture, it has an expanded mission, which includes contributing to the development of the infrastructure of the Kamoa-Kakula project towards its commercial production phase.

Louis Waatum is part of a team composed of Mark Farren who is appointed Managing Director of the Kamoa-Kakula Copper joint venture. Warwick Morley-Jepson, will now assume the role of Chief Operating Officer of Ivanhoe. Yong Chen of Zijin Mining, as Chief Operating Officer, will join Mr. Farren as part of Kamoa-Kakula’s new management team.

« Louis, Mark and Warwick all have extensive experience in the development, construction and operation of underground mines in the region. And we have the greatest confidence in their ability to build and lead the joint venture team that will build and operate the six million tonne-per-year Kakula copper mine, while advancing the development efforts of our Kipushi and Platreef projects and accelerating exploration drilling on our 100% Western Foreland owned licenses, » Friedland said in an official statement.

Local content promoted in Kamoa Copper

Kamoa-Kakula Copper’s management team also includes Congolese nationals including Ben Munanga – Chief Energy Officer, Teddy Kabongo – Chief Tax Officer, and Dr. Guy Muswil – Chief Sustainability Officer.

They will deal with Rochelle De Villiers of Ivanhoe Mines and David Li of Zijin Mining who have been appointed Co-Financial Directors of Kamoa-Kakula.

For Ivanhoe Mines’ Co-President, Robert Friedland, the structure of this team reflects the high level of cooperation between the joint venture partners, who remain convinced of the individual skills and leadership quality of each member to contribute to the successful start-up of Kakula’s activities.

He added: » The management team will work closely with Mr. Watum and senior Congolese management, our government partners and our host communities to ensure that the Kakula mine is built on time, on budget and to the highest international standards, » Friedland added. »

Louis Watum, an exemplary career path

He joined Ivanhoe Mines in December 2014 as General Manager of the company’s operations in the DRC. In March 2015, Louis Watum was appointed to an additional position as Managing Director of Kamoa Copper SA.

Currently, he is the lead manager of Ivanhoe’s mining development activities for the discovery of the Kamoa copper mine and the Kipushi zinc-copper-silver mine, both located in the DRC.

Before joining Ivanhoe Mines, between 2010 and 2014, he successfully led the development and commissioning of Randgold’s Kibali project (Randgold’s interest in Kibali was then sold to Barrick Gold), following its launch of Moto Gold Mines’ Moto project from 2006 to 2009. He was in charge of operations at the Yatela gold mine in Mali from 2001 to 2005.

The Kamoa-Kakula Copper project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Limited (0.8%) and the DRC government (20%). Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining are co-financing the development of the project.

Initial copper concentrate production from the Kakula mine, the first of at least three mines planned in Kamoa-Kakula, is currently scheduled for the third quarter of 2021.

Emilie MBOYO

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DRC: the « education » project will be submitted to the WB Board of Directors in February 2020

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DRC: Education project to be submitted to World Bank Board in February 2020

The Government’s emergency project on free « Basic Education » will be submitted to the World Bank’s Executive Board in February 2020. According to the Vice President for Africa, Hafez Ghanem, preparations are being intensified to ensure that this deadline is met.

« We are working very quickly on this education project. And we plan to bring this project to our Council as early as February. Regarding the height of the amount, we are in the process of making evaluations. It’s going to be a big amount, around a billion US dollars, » he told reporters at the end of his meeting with the Congolese delegation led by Finance Minister José Sele Yalaghuli.

Indeed, this emergency project is part of World Bank support for the Government’s efforts to provide free basic education, the implementation of which began last September.

To relieve the pressure on public finances to allocate at least US$25-37 million each month, the World Bank has pledged to support the Congolese Government in this regard.

https://twitter.com/Zoom_eco/status/1184909044315758593?s=20In line with the commitment of the Head of State, Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, and the President of the World Bank, David Malpass, the Minister of Finance, José Sele Yalaghuli, has clearly indicated the Congolese Government’s firm desire to see the process speed up so that funds are released within an acceptable time frame.

« This is the right time for the partners of DR Congo to match the real political will of the Congolese national executive to meet one of the aspects of the World Bank’s mandate, namely: the fight against poverty, » he said at a previous meeting with the World Bank delegation led by Jean-Christophe Carret.

With regard to the health coverage programme, Hafez Ghanem reiterated his institution’s commitment to continue working alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly in the fight against Ebola.

 

He added: « We will also work with the Government on a new health programme to strengthen basic health centres and improve access to health across the country. »

However, he gave no indication of the amount of funding for this health programme, especially since it is currently under study.

As a reminder, the delegations of DR Congo and the World Bank held a working meeting on Thursday 17 October 2019 in Washington DC. Experts from both sides, led by José Sele Yalaghuli and Hafez Ghanem respectively, reviewed ongoing projects within the World Bank portfolio and those under preparation.

In addition to education and health, projects related to infrastructure, connectivity (roads) and the digital economy were also discussed.

Eric TSHIKUMA, from Washington

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DRC: the three axes of the Accelerated Programme to Combat Poverty and Inequality

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DRC: the three axes of the Accelerated Programme to Combat Poverty and Inequality

The President of the Republic launched his Accelerated Programme to Combat Poverty and Inequality in Kinshasa on Wednesday 16 October at the site of my valley in the commune of Mongafula.

This Programme aims to ensure that twenty million Congolese living in rural and peri-urban areas in the 145 territories of our country leave poverty or extreme poverty within the next 5 years.

It has three components: improving rural and peri-urban populations’ access to basic socio-economic infrastructure and services; promoting rural and peri-urban economies; and building capacity in managing for development results at the national, provincial and local levels.

The first component aims to increase the population’s access to basic services such as housing, electricity through the promotion of micro hydroelectric power plants, drinking water, health and agricultural access roads. This list is not exhaustive.

The second component aims to ensure that people in villages and peri-urban neighbourhoods have improved and stable sources of income and that they consume at least one balanced meal per day. This component will place particular emphasis on promoting inclusive agricultural sectors.

The third component aims to develop a culture of autonomy, which will result in the appropriation of development by the beneficiary populations, the strengthening of self-esteem, meritocracy and a motivated attachment to their living environment.

Substantial resources for this ambitious program!

« The Programme, the main components of which I have just unveiled, requires ambitious funding over several years, » said Félix Tshisekedi, aware of these challenges. In the face of such an ambition, the Head of State asks the Government to spare no effort to explore all possible avenues likely to provide the means for this saving action for the people.

It is with this in mind that the last Council of Ministers adopted the hypothesis of a budget reaching the 10 billion mark.

In addition, Félix Tshisekedi intends to engage the country in far-reaching reforms ranging from the rebuilding of the state with justice as the epicentre to the sectors of national life.

This is how he makes his main focus the fight against anti-values, particularly corruption, embezzlement of public funds, tax fraud, smuggling and tribalism. And all means will be used to ensure that all State revenues are channelled into the Public Treasury.

Finally, to make this programme a success, the President of the Republic is counting on the involvement of all his compatriots, beyond the divisions.
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Harris Kasongo

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DRC: Economic and financial situation at the heart of a meeting at the World Bank

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DRC: Economic and financial situation at the heart of a meeting at the World Bank

The economic situation in DR Congo is the focus of a meeting on Thursday 17 October 2019 at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington DC. The Minister of Finance, José Sele Yalaghuli, leads the delegation of Congolese experts.

In his presentation, the national silversmith described a macroeconomic framework for DR Congo that has remained stable.

Despite accumulated deficits of 420 billion Congolese francs at the end of September 2019, domestic prices and the exchange rate fluctuated slightly. And at this rate, the Government reports inflation of 4.2% at the end of December 2019, which is below the 7% end of period forecast level.

Referring to the strategic and political orientations of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Minister Sele Yalaghuli cited in particular the tightening of public spending in order to limit deficits and the subscription of treasury bonds with the ambition of mobilizing 150 billion CDF by the end of 2019 to fill the gaps.

The first results are promising, especially since a small monthly budget surplus was recorded at the end of September 2019.

Moreover, added Sele Yalaghuli, the third orientation concerns the Government’s firm commitment to pursue the implementation of reforms with the support of partners to remove obstacles sector by sector and to be able to remedy them.

With regard to cooperation between the Congo DR and the Bretton Woods institutions. After the break-up of the formal programme with the IMF in 2012, the ongoing recovery strategy of the current discussions is based on two options.

First, the interim program. Then, the formal program. If the first one will cover the preparation period of the second one, the conclusion of the formal programme could take place after the third quarter of 2020.

« This is the right time for the partners of DR Congo to match the real political will of the Congolese national executive to meet one of the aspects of the World Bank’s mandate, namely: the fight against poverty, » José Sele Yalaghuli said, addressing the World Bank delegation led by Jean-Christophe Carret.

With the World Bank, experts from DR Congo are working on preparations and options to initiate disbursement of funds for the Government’s priority sectors on are: basic education and universal health coverage.

This interaction with World Bank teams continued, with Hafez Ghanem, Vice President in charge of the Africa region, as the focus.

Eric TSHIKUMA, from Washington DC

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