World Bank President James Wolfensohn arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Friday at the start of a three-nation tour of Africa that will focus on post-conflict rehabilitation and economic recovery, the bank stated.
Wolfensohn is expected to meet the respective heads of state, and civil society leaders in the DRC, Rwanda and Tanzania. On 15 and 16 July, he will participate in a meeting with the respective finance ministers of Angola, Burundi, DRC, Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The visit to the DRC comes in the wake of the resumption of cooperation between the World Bank and the DRC government. A rupture in relations occurred in 1993 when the then president, Mobutu Sese Seko, defaulted on paying US $9.3 million dollars of debt to the bank. Cooperation resumed in June 2002, with a loan of $450 million dollars from the International Development Association, a part of the World Bank group.
"A major theme of the visit will be the bank's re-engagement in the DRC and its support for other countries affected by conflict in the Great Lakes as well as its commitment to do more to support the transition from war to peace in Africa," the bank stated.
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