IMF and Strategic Development Plan
In the margins of the Head of State’s visit to the United States, strategist and social innovator Al Kitenge gave an interview to M&B on the resumption of cooperation between the DRC and the IMF.

M&B: What is the situation in the DRC?

AK: Quite difficult. As a result of the fall in commodity prices, the commercial value of exported products fell. In view of the imbalance in the dollar mattress, the exchange rate has evolved against the Congolese Franc, with an impact on the purchasing power of citizens.

M&B: Reason for this call fromthe Head of State to the IMF?

AK: Yes, it is to balance foreign exchange reserves and ensureincompressible imports.

M&B: Does this mean IMF program for the country?

AK: We are not there yet. The IMF’s mission is not to rebuild the DRC. It is up to the DRC to adopt a Strategic Development Plan. The IMF and other partners becoming advisors and providers of specific solutions, each according to its own strengths.

M&B: On which axis should this Strategic Plan be based?

AK: It must be aligned with the next thirty years and answer the fundamental questions: where do we want to go? What do we want to have? What do we have to go far?

For the Head of State, our greatest lever is hydroelectric potential. We can indeed put it on the plate. But the real question is: what is the social and economic software to put in place so that our human capital is, in fifteen years, ready to support this development? This is called a Strategic Plan.

M&B: Returning to the IMF, what are the causes of the suspension of cooperation?

AK: The lack of transparency and a succession of disputes about whether or not they want to stay in a clear game. The DRC has been undisciplined for too long. We have quarrelled with all our partners and will soon be quarrelling with the Chinese if we do not change our governance culture.

M&B: How to carry out this transformation?

AK: Political leaders can only be effective when they are strictly monitored by citizens. So, citizens must no longer consume what politicians say, but tell politicians what to do!

M&B: Your opinion on this rapprochement with the IMF?

AK: There is always a tendency to say that the Fund is interventionist.

The answer is No. He says, “If we get along, we move forward. If we don’t get along, we don’t move forward.

From the moment the IMF puts its hand in the pocket, it is important for the Executive to demonstrate that it is allocating the money to the place for which it was mobilized.

Accountability and transparency are cardinal! In addition, IMF experts because they have a great knowledge of the world, steer a lot of information and can therefore be useful to us. Even in the area of budget support.

M&B: A support programme would involve an audit of national accounts by the Fund?

AK: It should not be excluded. They need to know the reality of our economy. All the figures,partly masked, that we present only represent urban life, that is, less than 20% of the population. At some point, Congo will have to show its willingness to go where 80% of the population is. Our strategy should be essentially rural.

M&B: Do you support partnerships between the DRC and other institutions?

AK: The opposite would be ridiculous! We need to have a basket of partners. For example, today, on financing issues, the biggest machine is China. But here again: What is our strategy? Any intervention by partners should take place within the framework of the strategic plan and under its leadershiWp.

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