Didier Reynders meets with Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

date: 22 October 2012

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders met with Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon this morning.

Prime Minister Matata and Deputy Prime Minister Reynders discussed the situation in eastern Congo. They also discussed the latest developments and the information that came out about the final report from the experts who had been appointed by the United Nations Sanctions Committee. The continued deterioration of the situation in Kivu must, remain on the international agenda, say the two ministers. The ongoing regional efforts must also quickly lead to a result. The Prime Minister emphasised the importance of quick progress in the reform of the security sector. He also advocated for the potential strengthening of the MONUSCO mandate.

The two ministers then discussed economic issues and measures that were taken to reform the Congolese economy. The economic situation in the Congo is improving and reforms have been initiated to combat the “dollarisation” of the economy and to improve the public administration and investment climate. The Prime Minister explained that the accession of the DRC to the “Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires” (OHADA: Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa) will lead to a simplification and harmonisation of business law. This must reinforce positive trends. Belgium also supported this good progress by waiving the DRC’s bilateral debt. The two ministers planed the establishment of a bilateral working group that will study and support the economic and financial reform processes and which will be able to simplify and improve the business climate.

Finally, they discussed internal Congolese files, such as the activities of the Parliament for the reform of the National Independent Electoral Commission, the election of a representative for the opposition, and the trial regarding the murder of the human rights activist Floribert Chebeya.

Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon is travelling around Europe and visiting Belgium and Germany. In Belgium, he will meet with the Presidents of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate, the Prime Minister and the Minsters for Finance and Defence. A meeting with the European authorities is also on the programme, including with the President of the European Commission and Commissioners Piebalgs and Georgieva.