KINSHASA - The former Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo president Joseph Kabila had recently his doctoral dissertation approved by the University of Johannesburg for his research titled “Geopolitical Turn: USA-China-Russia rivalry and Implications for Africa.”

Kabila, who is his country’s only living former president, served for 18 years from 2001 to 2019, and made key decisions that continue to shape the country’s economic trajectory to date.

Notably, his government entered a $6.2 billion minerals-for-infrastructure pact with China in 2007, which included a venture called Sicomines to explore cobalt and copper deposits.

Last week the government of President Felix Tshisekedi, a long time critic of the deal, announced it had mostly unraveled that agreement and would be receiving up to $7 billion in financing. Sicomines said the new deal will give DRC’s state-miner Gecamines a 1.2% royalty of Sicomines earnings and the right to market 32% of its output.