Congo: Political fractionalization weighs on the economy

Country Report

Feels like it only go backwards

In 2016, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s GDP per capita stood at $773, about the same as in 1983 (PPP measured). While the nineteen-nineties were a lost decade, the following decade was not a strong as hoped. The country needed 15 years to recover its 1983’s income level.

Poor governance is one of the key aspects of this poor economic performance by a country rich with natural resources where metals account for 76% of exports. The country is not ascending the value chain. Political instability eased during the last 15 years, but policymaking did not deliver on the promise of more growth.

The country is ranked 184th out of 190 countries in World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 survey. As a result, the catch-up with African average standards of living is not materializing. Congo DR’s GDP per capita was 60% of the regional average in 1983. It now stands at a meagre 20%.