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Republic of Congo secures debt deals against the odds

The last month has treated Republic of Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso kindly. His debt-stressed administration has struggled to cope with the impact of lower oil prices – only this year has the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seen early signs of stabilisation after a deep recession since 2015 – and criticism of poor governance. Brazzaville had run out of money to repay external debt – much of it contracted in pre-financing arrangements with China and Swiss oil trading houses – and had struggled to convince the IMF and other creditors it was sincere about meeting commitments to control its debt and spending.

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