In Zaire, the arrival of a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has coincided with the opening of the sixth international trade fair.
In Zaire, the arrival of a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has coincided with the opening of the sixth international trade fair. The IMF delegation is to have a series of meetings with Zairean bank officials on plans to revive the country's ailing economy. Zaire's President, Mobutu Sese Seko is hoping that the international interest in the fair will help his efforts to rebuild the economy.
SYNOPSIS: The President opened the trade fair on Monday (16 July). He was accompanied by a State Commissioner, Bomboko Kukumba, on a tour of inspection over the twenty four thousand square metre site.
President Mobutu realises the fair has opened at a crucial time for Zaire. The country's administration is badly in need of economic reforms. Government officials have already helped form a stabilisation plan which will be accompanied by a one hundred and fifty-million dollar stand-by credit from the International Monetary Fund.
However the Director General of the Fair, Togba Mata Boboy, stressed the interest still being shown in zaire by foreign companies. In his address to the official party he said over three hundred foreign exhibitors from twenty one countries were represented at the fair. Altogether there are almost seven hundred exhibitors -- ten years after the first Kinshasa Fair was held.
But as President Mobutu performed the opening ceremony, he was no doubt conscious of Zaire's decline since the inaugural exhibition. Bad economic planning, political upheavals and falling copper revenues have all transformed Zaire from one of black Africa's most constructive countries to a beggar of foreign aid.
France is one overseas country President Mobutu can look to for assistance. France sent paratroops to Zaire to drive out rebels in Shaba last year. And the large French pavilion at the trade fair indicated that it will also be of economic assistance in Zaire's latest hour of need.