The Democratic Republic of the 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 country risks and benefits
The objective of the “Country Risk Conference” is to guide investors by examining the country’s strengths and weaknesses.
Major players from the regional political and economic spheres have gathered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo around a report written by the pan-African rating agency Bloomfield.
Various information was analyzed, both macroeconomic and social and security data, culminating in a country rating of 5.1 out of 10.
Stanislas Zézé, CEO of Bloomfield Investment Corporation, said: “The 5.1 rating represents a moderate risk, a moderate medium risk. It means that the DRC is a country with a lot of potential, with reforms being implemented but also with weaknesses.”
Combat economic challenges
Among these weaknesses are the lack of infrastructure, security risks in the east, and corruption problems.
However, recently, the international rating agencies Moody’s or Standard and Poor’s raised the country’s sovereign rating. This indicates that the country’s economic situation is improving and the Finance Minister is determined to strike while the iron is hot and continue this wave of change.
Nicholas Kazadi said: “In terms of public finances, we have an extremely ambitious roadmap that we are implementing as part of the program with the IMF. It is essentially about improving revenue transparency, tax reforms to create a more favorable business environment and also to fight corruption. , particularly through the strengthening of digitization in public finances, both in terms of income and expenditure”.
Diversification of the DRC’s economic portfolio
The International Monetary Fund reported that the Democratic Republic of the Congo experienced economic growth of more than 4.5% in 2021, thanks in large part to the country’s mining and services sectors.
The mining sector remains the essential driver of Congolese growth, as the country has key resources for the energy transition such as copper, cobalt and lithium.
The executive president of the ERG group, one of the largest investors in these activities, believes in the enormous potential of the country.
Beyond the mineral wealth of the DRC, the country also has vast arable land that offers opportunities for the agricultural sector.
Entrepreneurs seizing opportunities
Tisya Mukuna, creator of “The Kinoise,“A Congolese coffee brand, it is the embodiment of a new generation of entrepreneurs who are determined to get the country moving.
Three years ago, it became the first to grow organic coffee in the Kinshasa region, making the most of what the land has to offer.
This summer Mukuna opened a small factory to roast and package his coffee in the capital, however he has faced some challenges caused by environmental factors such as heavy rains.
She told Euronews that growing coffee is “a story about passion” that she pursued “even when everyone told her [her] it was impossible.”
From harvest to packaging, Tisya intends to control the entire production chain of this 100% local coffee business, which requires energy and perseverance.
Tisya aspires to make her coffee known and sell it beyond the borders of the DRC, an entrepreneur who serves as an example to those who want to invest in the country and take advantage of its future opportunities.