Editor’s Note: December 06, 2018

Congo needs to put its money where its mouth is

Mining revenues collected by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) jumped by 147.4% in the first nine months of 2018 to $1.21bn according to the latest government data. This comes on the back of a contentious new mining code, signed into law in June, almost tripling royalties on minerals like copper and cobalt.

This has pushed relations between the government and miners – including giants like Glencore – to breaking point, with the latter fiercely opposing the hike on the grounds that it will stifle investment.

The government dismisses this and insists the increase is an overdue re-balancing of commercial terms. Last week state-owned miner Gécamines launched an extraordinary attack on the industry, blaming mining companies for $4.9bn in lost revenue between 2005 – 2016 and, by extension, the country’s failure to translate its vast mineral wealth into meaningful development.

Authorities will soon have the opportunity to match words with action. The 147.4% revenue spike is the proverbial  tip of the iceberg. DRC’s natural resources are estimated to be worth $24tr, with minerals like cobalt among the most sought after globally.

As state coffers fill up the country’s citizens will be waiting anxiously to see how the money is used to drive development. 

So will the rest of the world.

From The Continent

Kenya-based private equity firm Ascent Capital Africa has announced plans to raise a $120m fund to invest in mid-sized companies across East Africa. The region has seen private equity deal activity surge to $482.1m in the first eight months of 2018, up from $19m the previous year. More: Bloomberg


Ethiopian Airlines has signed an MoU with Ghana to establish a new national carrier in the West African country in early 2019 - the latest in a series of such agreements with countries on the continent. The government has said it does not aim to own more than 10% in the venture. More: Flight Global

The Daily Stat

60%

The estimated share of generated electricity Liberia loses annually due to illegal grid connections. More: BBC

The Global Perspective

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is meeting in Vienna today and is expected to announce new output cuts to aimed at stabilizing falling oil prices, with a press conference scheduled for 12:00 GMT. The meeting comes amid growing doubts about the cartel’s ability to influence oil markets. More: CNBC

Talks to end a decades-long dispute over the status of Western Sahara, which Morocco claims sovereignty over, have kicked off in Geneva. The Meeting is the first of its kind in six years and is headed by the foreign ministers of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and Western Sahara’s Polisario Front. More: Anadolu Agency

The Daily Follow

@EMPEA: News and updates from the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association