[en] Congolese traders in Katanga claim that they cannot trust their peers, customers, and employees. Existing literature about social capital in Africa does not enhance our understanding, as it tends to consider trust as depending on the degree of social knowledge. In the Congo, social proximity does not exclude suspicion, nor does social distance necessarily prevent trust. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this article aims at developing a more detailed framework. It studies how Congolese traders negotiate two key norms for the building of economic trust - property and reciprocity - with non-relatives, distant relatives, and close relatives.