República Democràtica del Congo flag República Democràtica del Congo: Visió econòmica i política

El context econòmic de la República Democràtica del Congo

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) possesses two-thirds of Africa's tropical forests, has a rich subsoil and a significant hydroelectric potential. The economy has suffered political conflicts over the past two decades. After recording the world’s third-fastest growth (10.5%) in 2014, the economy slowed down, mainly due to rising inflation and a drop in the prices of exported raw materials, notably copper. In 2021, the economy grew 4.9%, mainly due to a boost in the mining sector after a slowdown in activity brought on by the pandemic in the previous year. Over that same period, prices of commodities and mining exports rose as global demand restarted. In 2022 and 2023, mining is expected to remain the main contributor to the country's growth, with GDP being expected to reach 5.6% and 6.6%, respectively.

The economy of the DRC is mainly based on extractive industries, which are very dependent on world prices and international economic dynamics. The country's economy is therefore fragile and vulnerable to shocks. In 2021, the country benefited from the increase in copper prices (the leading export product), which led to an increase in revenue, expenditure, and foreign exchange reserves. With copper and cobalt prices expected to remain high, production and exports are set to increase in the coming years, which should continue to benefit the economy as a whole. In 2021, inflation decreased to 9.45%, thanks to a relatively more stable Congolese franc. Inflation should continue a downward trend in 2022, reaching 6.4%, before stabilising at 6.6% in 2023. The debt-to-GDP ratio also decreased in 2021, to 11.9%, and it further decrease in the coming years, reaching 10.1% in 2022 and 8.3% in 2023. The overall deficit remained stable at 2.1%, but it is expected to drop to 1.8% in 2022 and 1.5% in 2023. To answer the coronavirus crisis, the Congolese government implemented a plan estimated at USD 2.6 billion in 2020, which continued on in 2021. The amount was used to face medical challenges, reinforce macroeconomic stability, and help citizens to fulfil their basic needs. The measures put in place in light of the pandemic have been effective in boosting economic activity, which has been gradually recovering. However, although a relatively low inflation and a robust recovery plan have bolstered private consumption in the country, its contribution to growth was constrained by the large share of the population living below the poverty line.

The DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 70% of the population living in extreme poverty (World Bank, 2020). It is among the lowest-ranked in the human development index and violence is frequent, especially in the east of the country. According to the latest data from the World Bank, in 2020, the unemployment rate in the country stood at 5.2%. However, among the employed share of the population, a high percentage of workers have informal jobs.

 
Main Indicators 201920202021 (e)2022 (e)2023 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 50.4048.7154.8359.2564.30
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 4.41.7e4.95.66.6
GDP per Capita (USD) 581544e594622655
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 15.015.2e11.910.18.3
Inflation Rate (%) 4.711.4e9.46.46.6
Current Account (billions USD) -1.62-1.10e-1.14-1.09-0.98
Current Account (in % of GDP) -3.2-2.2-2.1-1.8-1.5

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, October 2021

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Main Sectors of Industry

The agricultural sector represented 20.8% of GDP in 2020 and employed 64.3% of the population (World Bank). The vast majority of the population is engaged in agricultural activities for their subsistence and not for commercial purposes. The main crops are cassava, plantains, yams, rice and corn. Farmers across the country were negatively impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, as border closures limited trade flows of agricultural inputs, which resulted in a decrease in the country's planted area, fewer agricultural jobs, and overall below-average production. However, as restrictions lifted in 2021, the sector began to show signs of recovery.

The industrial sector contributed to 41.2% of GDP in 2020, and employed 9.8% of the population. The country is presented with vast natural resources, the mining sector playing a major role in the economy and being the main source of export earnings. The Katanga region is particularly rich in minerals, including copper, cobalt, zinc, cassiterite, manganese, coal, silver, cadmium, germanium (a fragile element used as a semiconductor), gold, palladium (a metallic element used as catalyst and in alloys), uranium and platinum. The DRC also has deposits of gas (methane) and diamonds. Manufacturing plays a marginal role in the country's economy, due to the lack of skilled labour and machinery. Although the earlier stages of the pandemic resulted in a significant decrease of industrialised exports, mainly of metals and minerals, 2021 saw a significant rebound of the industrial sector, with copper and cobalt exports being major contributors to the country's growth.

The services sector represented 35.7% of GDP in 2020 and employed 25.8% of the working population. The banking system is dominated by foreign companies, but only a fraction of the Congolese have a bank account. Tourism is also underdeveloped due to the prevailing security problems in the country. Even though the services sector was negatively impacted by the pandemic, it showed a steady recovery in 2021.

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 64.3 9.8 25.9
Value Added (in % of GDP) 20.3 41.0 35.6
Value Added (Annual % Change) 2.0 2.8 -0.5

Source: World Bank, Latest Available Data. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 

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Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.}}

Score:
49/100
World Rank:
165
Regional Rank:
43

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation

 
 

Country Risk

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Sources of General Economic Information

Ministries
Ministry of Mines
Ministry of Hydrocarbons
Statistical Office
Statistics about DRC
Central Bank
Central Bank of East African States
Stock Exchange
Central African Stock Exchange
Economic Portals
Financial Times
BBC News
 

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Actualitzacions: April 2022

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