ZAIRE: How to Go Broke


For many of the eleven years that Mobutu Sese Seko, 46, has ruled Zaïre, that huge central African country (once known as the Belgian Congo) has dined out on its promise of wealth. The country's enormous, and still largely unexploited, deposits of copper served as a kind of collateral on which Zaïre managed to borrow extensively abroad. It now owes $2.9 billion, $800 million of which is due private lenders in the U.S., Europe and Japan. But instead of achieving steady growth, Zaïre became a textbook example of how a Third World...

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