Andrew Mitchell’s £790,000,000 Rumble in the Jungle

Not Ali versus Foreman but International Development Minister Andrew Mitchell versus Congo’s cash strapped politicians.  Guido noted that last week Congo politicians rejected UK aid, claiming it to be a kind of ‘guilt payment’ to secure access for British controlled offshore mining interests. The UK is giving the Democratic Republic of Congo £790 million in aid over 4 years. DfID is determined to increase aid payments to the Congo despite Congolese opposition politicians rejecting UK aid as a sham. Andrew Mitchell is making UK taxpayers the Congo’s biggest bilateral donor and it was not even a former British colony.

The IMF and World Bank, with the backing of British taxes, are also channeling billions to the Congo Government.  Surely in this austere climate it is time to give the Congolese what they want themselves – aid stopped until the Congo government honours the loan covenants it made to the IMF. NamelyPublish What You Pay conditions for mining interests to be honoured, mining assets sales to be made via open tender and an independent anti-corruption body to be established to oversee it all. Yesterday Lord Chidgey raised questions about the activities of British companies via offshore operations in the Congo. Something very fishy is going on here with the tacit connivance of DfID by default. The overseas aid budget should not be used to secure access for British companies to corruptly under-priced minerals…




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