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Vol 41 No 4

Published 18th February 2000


Congo-Kinshasa

Hanging on

Kabila's regime proves more durable than expected but he musn't offend his allies

It is not yet time to write off President Laurent-Désiré Kabila, whose government is trying to climb out of the deep economic hole it has dug itself. Crucially, imports seem to be recovering. Monthly container shipments to the main port, Matadi, were down to about 30 per cent of pre-war levels last year but are now back to around half, suggesting that business people expect the government to scrap its disastrous ban on holding foreign currency. If that happens, more of the diamond trade should flow through legal channels and government revenue, already helped by the increase in imports, should pick up further.

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