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Cablegate: Pm Muzito Asks for Assistance in Agricultural

VZCZCXYZ0003
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKI #0860 2661038
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231038Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0107

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000860

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL EAID EAGR EINV CG
SUBJECT: PM MUZITO ASKS FOR ASSISTANCE IN AGRICULTURAL
SECTOR

REF: A. KINSHASA 842
B. KINSHASA 822
C. KINSHASA 808
D. KINSHASA 787

1. (SBU) Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito called in the
Ambassador on September 23 to discuss next steps in following
up on the Secretary's August 10-11 visit to the DRC (see
reftels). Muzito pleaded for USG assistance for the GDRC's
administrative functions -- customs, banking, finance, public
accounting -- areas in which the GDRC has no or poor
functioning systems. He cited the Central Bank's lack of a
system to accurately measure imports, exports, and
remittances. Muzito said that this lack of administrative
capacity was even more serious than the DRC's deficiencies in
tangible areas, i.e., infrastructure, education, because the
administrative systems determine the success or failure in
these fields.

2. (SBU) Muzito lamented what he characterized as U.S.
absence from Africa's economic development. Chinese firms,
Muzito continued, have filled this void. The DRC, however,
would prefer to work with U.S. firms, as the U.S. has the
skills and knowledge in areas, in which the DRC would like to
accelerate development (agriculture). The DRC, Muzito
pointed out, lacks a farming culture, and the U.S. is
well-suited to help the DRC develop this sector. Reminiscing
about Peace Corps in Zaire in the 1960s-80s, Muzito suggested
the creation of some kind of "agricultural Peace Crops,"
whereby U.S. agricultural experts would come to the DRC to
educate and train DRC farmers "in the fields." Muzito opined
that such a program could indeed be used throughout Africa to
improve food security and agricultural productivity.

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3. (SBU) Turning to the private sector, Muzito remarked that
there was one U.S. investor, Tenke Fungurme Mining (TFM),
that was well ensconced in the DRC, but the GDRC would like
to attract other U.S. investors. Ambassador noted that he
would soon be attending the Corporate Council on Africa's
conference in Washington, so this would be an opportunity to
discuss investment possibilities. The Ambassador added,
however, that any U.S. firm interested in the DRC, would
almost certainly inquire about TFM's on-going problems with
the GDRC.

4. (SBU) Muzito concluded by reminding the Ambassador that
the Secretary had suggested to him the possibility of the DRC
creating some kind of fund, into which companies would pay a
percentage of their earnings earmarked for developing the
DRC's infrastructure.
GARVELINK

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