DR Congo seeks $58 billion to rebuild industry

The rebuild plan would see new railways, ports and other infrastructure to connect six pillar regions of the vast country and chart a long-term course of growth to 2040, Industry Minister Julien Paluku said.

FILE: Democratic Republic of Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi. Picture: AFP

KINSHASA – The Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday announced a plan to re-industrialise the resource-rich but impoverished African nation with a $58 billion investment plan.

The plan would see new railways, ports and other infrastructure to connect six pillar regions of the vast country and chart a long-term course of growth to 2040, Industry Minister Julien Paluku said.

The blueprint aims to revitalise businesses in a country that has only 507 registered industrial entities, from the 9,600 or so inherited from colonial ruler Belgium at independence in 1960.

The plan seeks to roughly double the number of industrial production units in the next five years, reducing an annual bill for imports by 60% as more goods are made at home.

To get there, Paluku said the government is seeking $58 billion (49 billion euros) for investment: $21 billion for rail; $22 billion for energy; $6.3 billion for airports and ports.

It aims to host an investor conference to seek funding commitments, he said.

Investment will be directed at the six industrial zones that will be transformed by 2040 "into export hubs for neighbouring countries", riding on the African Continental Free Trade Area and the opening up of the Chinese market to African countries, he said.

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