IN THE nightclubs of Kinshasa, the raucous capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, adverts are everywhere for Congolese beer. From Primus, one of the biggest brands, with its label in the colours of the national flag, to Mützig, a German-themed lager, there is a choice that would be enviable in other African countries. The brews are typically served in intimidating 750ml bottles. Yet these days, ask for a beer and you are as likely to be given a can of Cuca, a less appealing Angolan fizz. It is not just beer: walk through a Kinois supermarket and every other product seems to be from Angola.
For over a year Angolan goods have flooded into Congo—so much so that on August 28th the government announced that it would try to ban the imports. Congolese businessmen complain that they cannot compete with Angolan traders, because their aim is not to make a profit, but to acquire dollars (access to which is restricted in Angola)….