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Congo’s Central Bank Keeps 2020 Economic Growth Forecast At -2.4%

Congolese workers are seen at a construction site for a new overpass dubbed “sheep-jumps” along a street in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo February 12, 2020. REUTERS/Hereward Holland

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s central bank kept its 2020 economic growth forecast unchanged at -2.4% because of the uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“This situation has contributed to weakening growth prospects both globally and regionally,” the central bank said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the country just marked 60 years of independence from brutal colonial ruler Belgium, some are lamenting how little progress has been made since in a country caught in a “vicious cycle of instability and poverty”.

Belgium’s King Philippe took the unprecedented step this week of expressing his “deep regrets” for the abuses suffered under his country’s yoke until the Democratic Republic of Congo broke away on June 30, 1960.

But many leaders in DRC have given a damning appraisal of what has happened in the country since.

“After 60 years of independence, the assessment is without doubt: we have shamefully failed. We have not been able to make Congo a more beautiful country than it was before,” said Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo, the archbishop of Kinshasa, in a country where the powerful Catholic Church has been deeply critical of the government.

In a sermon on the 60th independence anniversary, the cardinal also lambasted “the succession of autocratic regimes”, “the culture of impunity” enjoyed by those in power, and the poverty suffered by many in DR Congo.

“We have collectively failed,” he summed up.

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Written by PH

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