A series of appointments by President Denis Sassou Nguesso to Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (SNPC) and the Ministry of Hydrocarbons aims to show that Republic of Congo is serious about making its key economic sector considerably more transparent and efficient. Wary that austerity induced by the 2014-17 oil price slump has raised social tensions, the president and his allies are aware of the need to impress the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other creditors to maintain vital financial flows.