For 80 years, the Port of Pointe-Noire has been at the center of the economic activity of the Republic of Congo. But the fall in oil prices in 2014 plunged the Central African country into an economic crisis from which the port infrastructure is struggling to recover.
And since then, several companies have closed. The few who hold out are living in uncertainty every day.
« Many had to stop their activities so they went bankrupt and today they have filed for bankruptcy. As a result, we lost contracts. And if we lose contracts, obviously, we are cutting jobs. And if you cut jobs, you almost have to reinvent yourself to stay in the market. ”Lance deschagrains Ebeh, managing director of De-Network.
The petroleum industry is the main source of employment in Pointe-Noire, a city of over one million people. But 50,000 people have lost their jobs in this sector since the start of the crisis.
For the president of the chamber of commerce and industry Didier Mavouenzela, “We need to revive the economy and in our view recovery requires diversification, but also at the oil level through the effective implementation of content local, that would allow to have purchases operated by the oil tanker locally and thus to revive the economy a little bit. ”
But a rescue plan for the International Monetary Fund was approved in July 2019. With the country’s growth forecasts on the rise, the port of Pointe-Noire also experienced an increase in its traffic.
Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso has announced the end of the recession. However, all optimism is clouded by the country’s debts, which amount to more than 2 billion euros.