Information about Sub-Saharan Africa África subsahariana
Front Matter

Front Matter

Jean Clément
Published Date:
February 2005
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Information about Sub-Saharan Africa África subsahariana
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© 2004 International Monetary Fund

Production: Grammarians, Inc.

Cover design: Luisa Menjivar

Cover photograph: Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

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Postconflict economics in Sub-Saharan Africa: lessons from the Democratic Republic of the Congo / Jean A. P. Clément, editor — Washington, D.C.:

International Monetary Fund [2004].

  • p. cm.

ISBN 1-58906-252-3

1. Postwar reconstruction — Economic aspects — Congo (Democratic Republic) 2. Congo (Democratic Republic) — Economic policy. 3. Congo (Democratic Republic) — Economic conditions. 4. International Monetary Fund — Congo (Democratic Republic) 5. Civil war — Economic aspects — Africa, sub-Saharan. I. Clément, Jean A. P. II. International Monetary Fund.

HC955.P67 2004

Price: $28.00

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the third-largest country in Africa, is making significant strides at both the political and economic fronts to extricate itself from one of the bloodiest wars in African history (resulting in 3 million deaths) and decades of economic mismanagement. The DRC has succeeded in breaking the vicious circle of hyperinflation, falling currency, and collapsing output. This remarkable turnaround offers interesting lessons for countries coping with conflict and for the international community in its efforts not only to prevent conflict but also to provide adequate and timely support to postconflict countries. One important lesson is that the early involvement of the International Monetary Fund was key in catalyzing support for the reformers inside the country and fostering the goodwill of the international community to help buttress the peace process.

The DRC still faces many challenges ahead, in particular, the demobilization and reintegration of all ex-combatants, the creation of a unified army, the holding of free elections, and the reunification of the country, while, at the same time, it needs to consolidate the remarkable progress achieved so far in creating a macroeconomic environment conducive to sustainable growth and the reduction of poverty. If the DRC succeeds in addressing these challenges, it could become one of the main engines of growth in Africa. However, this achievement will only be possible if the international community intensifies its efforts to strengthen the peace process in the Great Lakes region, hopefully with the genuine participation of all countries concerned. Creating a durable peace in the heart of Africa would alleviate the suffering of millions of Africans, while contributing to a more stable world.

This book looks at the lessons and challenges from conflict to reconstruction, providing a summary of the most recent research on conflict, an analysis of the causes of conflicts in Africa, and their key economic characteristics. It reviews the remarkable turnaround in the DRC and its efforts to cope with the many challenges in its path from conflict to stabilization and to reconstruction. These issues have been at the center of the IMF staff’s work on the DRC in recent years.

The book brings together material and analysis prepared during late 2000 to mid-2004 by the IMF team working on the DRC under the supervision of Jean A.P. Clément, and includes an insightful article from our colleagues from the World Bank on the demilitarization and reintegration of ex-combatants in the DRC. The team of authors was led by Jean A.P. Clément and included Bernardin Akitoby, Nicolas Calcoen, Matthias Cinyabuguma, Ely Dieng, Wim Fonteyne, Daneshwar Ghura, Jacob Gons, Ragnar Gudmundsson, Markus Kostner, Bernard Laurens, Benoît Mercereau, Nicholas Staines, Adriaan Verheul, and Charles Yartey.

Abdoulaye Bio-Tchané


African Department


The authors acknowledge the valuable support, input, and comments provided by a number of current and former colleagues at the International Monetary Fund, including Olivier D’Ambrières, Christian Bremeersch, Dominique Bouley, Alain Catalan, François Corfmat, Noël Guetat, Brett House, Jérôme Fournel, Arend Kouwenaar, Stéphane Schlotterbeck, and Prosper Youm. Stéphanie Denis and Ngoc Le provided excellent research assistance, and we are indebted to Marie-Jeannette Ng Choy Hing, Marthe Malouf-Hardesty, and Moira Sucharov for assisting with numerous drafts. The authors are grateful to Thomas Walter and Thea Clarke for their skillful editing of the book and Jeffrey Hayden and Gail Berre of the External Relations Department, who coordinated its production. The IMF team working on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has enjoyed the support and close collaboration of colleagues from the World Bank, including, in particular, Emmanuel Mbi (former country director for South Central Africa and the Great Lakes department), Xavier Devictor, Brendan Horton, Helena Ramos, Yvan Rossignol, and Onno Ruhl. This book would not have been possible without the unrelenting support of the management and staff of the Central Bank of the DRC, the ministry of budget, the ministry of finance, the ministry of planning, and the fruitful discussions with the representatives of the international community and the DRC’s civil society. The DRC team would like to extend its warmest thanks to the Congolese authorities for their hospitality and openness in discussing the many challenges facing their country.

The opinions expressed here, as well as any errors, are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Congolese authorities, the Executive Directors of the IMF, or other members of the IMF staff.

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