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Maximising the Democratic Republic of Congo's economic potential

Maximising the Democratic Republic of Congo's economic potential
Copyright  euronews   -  
By Anne Devineaux

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a key player on the African continent, with one of the strongest growth rates in the sub-Saharan region. Euronews went to the Congolese capital, Kinshasa to observe an 'unprecedented' conference designed to explore the country's economic strengths and weaknesses.

Balancing the country's risks and advantages

The aim of the "Country Risk Conference" is to guide investors by sifting through the strengths and weaknesses of the country. 

Major players in the regional political and economic spheres have gathered in the DRC around a report written by the pan-African rating agency Bloomfield.

Various information was analysed: macroeconomic data as well as social and security data, culminating in the country receiving a rating of 5.1 out of 10.

Stanislas Zézé, CEO of the Bloomfield Investment corporation said: "The rating of 5.1 represents moderate risk, a median moderate risk. It means that the D.R.C. is a country with a lot of potential, with reforms that are being implemented but also with weaknesses."

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Stanislas Zézé, CEO, Bloomfield Investment corporationEuronews

Combating economic challenges

Among these weaknesses are the lack of infrastructure, security risks in the east and problems with corruption.

However, recently, the international rating agencies Moody's or Standard and Poor's, raised the country's sovereign rating.  This signals that the country's economic situation is improving and the Minister of Finance is determined to strike while the iron is hot and continue this wave of change. 

Nicolas Kazadi said: "In terms of public finance, we have an extremely ambitious roadmap that we are implementing as part of the program with the IMF. It is essentially to improve revenue transparency, tax reforms to create a more favourable business environment, and also to fight against corruption, particularly through the strengthening of digitalization in public finance, both in terms of revenue and expenditure."

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Conférence Risque Pays in KinshasaEuronews

Diversifying the D.R.C's economic portfolio

The International Monetary Fundreported that the Democratic Republic of Congo saw an over 4.5% economic growth in 2021 thanks, in large part, to the country's mining and service sectors.

The mining sector remains the essential engine behind Congolese growth, as the country has key resources for the energy transition such as copper, cobalt and lithium.

CEO of the ERG group, one of the largest investors in these activities, believes in the country's enormous potential.

"If you have a mobile phone, there is a 100% certainty that a small part of the battery is from the DRC. It is also the only country that is going to be able to supply sufficient materials, to supply the incredible amount of materials that will be required by the electronic sector or transportation sector: electric vehicles, stationary batteries or energy storage. The numbers that you are looking at are enormous."
Benedikt Sobotka
CEO of Eurasian Resources Group

Beyond the DRC's mineral wealth, the country also boasts vast arable lands which offer opportunities for the agricultural sector. 

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A land full of diverse economic opportunitiesEuronews

Entrepreneurs seizing opportunities

Tisya Mukuna, creator of "La Kinoise," a Congolese coffee brand, is the embodiment of a new generation of entrepreneurs who are determined to get the country moving.

Three years ago, she became the first to cultivate organic coffee in the Kinshasa region, making the most of what the land has to offer. 

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Tisya Mukuna, founder of "La Kinoise"Euronews

This summer, Mukuna opened a small factory to roast and package her coffee on site in the capital, however she has faced some challenges caused by environmental factors, such as heavy rain. 

She told Euronews that growing coffee is "a story about passion" which she pursued "even when everyone told [her] it was impossible."

From harvesting to packaging, Tisya intends to control the entire production chain of this 100% local coffee business, which requires energy and perseverance. 

The hardest part was the industrialization process: finding the machines, importing them. The hassles with customs. Setting them up. It's also a story of energy, having the electricity to run this factory. It's a lot of ambition. It requires a rather stable ecosystem. Take the case of the plantation: when it rains, the roads leading to the plantation are immediately unusable. So, this is all part of an ecosystem that adds difficulties for the company. But it's not impossible: the proof is that today, we are present in four cities across Congo.
Tisya Mukuna
Founder of "La Kinoise"

Tisya aspires to make her coffee known and have it sold beyond the borders of the DRC, an entrepreneur who provides an example to those who want to invest in the country and seize its opportunities for the future.

Journalist • Anne Devineaux