Congo Republic becomes OPEC oil cartel's newest member

DAKAR, June 22 (Reuters) - Congo Republic, one of Africa’s major oil producers, has joined the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), OPEC said in a statement on Friday.

Congo’s membership was approved during a meeting in Vienna.

“The Conference considered Congo’s request to join the Organization and decided to approve its admission with immediate effect,” OPEC said in statement.

The government of Congo said in January that it wanted to join OPEC as it moves ahead with new projects that could help it become sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest oil producer with a target of 350,000 barrels per day this year. (Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)