DAKAR, May 20 (Reuters) - Congo Republic’s senate on Monday voted to restructure some of its debt with China, a move that the International Monetary Fund has said was necessary to unlock financial support, the finance ministry said.
Negotiations over a bailout for the oil-dependant economy have dragged on since 2017, as Congolese authorities failed to convince the IMF they were doing enough to control the national debt or tackle corruption.
But an IMF mission said this month that it had agreed a three-year lending programme with Congo Republic subject to the government’s fulfilment of reforms and approval by the IMF’s executive board.
The government signed an agreement with Beijing in April to restructure more than $2.5 billion in debt.
Congo’s Senate voted to approve the restructuring of loans from China’s Import-Export Bank, which includes eight credit agreements between Congo and China, the finance ministry said in a statement.
This does not make up the whole $2.5 billion of Chinese debt, it added.
Reporting By Joe Bavier, writing by Edward McAllister