26 Kenyan companies have committed trade investments worth $1.6Billion in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The 26 traders are part of the Kenya delegation that participated in last year’s Kenya-DRC Trade Mission organized by the Government of Kenya and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in partnership with Equity Group.
Some of the companies that have made commitments include Rentco Africa Limited, Option Group, Greenlight Planet Limited, Jumbo Foam Limited, BIDCO, Geomaps, and Nyanja Associates in DRC among others.
The announcement was made in the presence of DR Congo’s President His Excellency Felix Tshisekedi at a business dinner hosted by Equity Group to celebrate the signing of the accession treaty by DR Congo after admission into the East African Community (EAC) and in furtherance of the Kenya-DR Congo Trade relations. The dinner was attended by the Kenya DRC trade mission delegation comprising government officials including Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade, and Enterprise Development Betty Maina, and some of the Kenyan traders who participated in the trade mission last year.
In his speech, President Felix Tshisekedi announced that his government has put in place reforms to support investors in the DRC. Some of them include a three-axis program to protect investment and ensure a good investment climate that consists of legal and security investment, improvement of the tax systems to allow the flow of goods in and out of DRC, and access to loans for economic cooperators. He has also created an agency in charge of the improvement of the business climate to link the institutions to improve both local and foreign investments.
In her part, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development Betty Maina thanked President Tshisekedi for joining the EAC business community and celebrated the growing links between Kenya and DRC following last year’s activities. She also noted the significance of DRC’s accession to the East African Community and as the 6th leading Kenya export market as she reiterated the government’s support to the business community in their reach outs in Kenya and the DRC.
While speaking at the event, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr. James Mwangi expressed his gratitude to President Felix Tshisekedi and his government for the support during the trade mission and further expressed Equity’s commitment to boost investment in the country with an announcement of USD 100M capital injection in EquityBCDC to enhance Equity’s capacity to fund development projects and large mining & manufacturing companies in DRC.
Dr. Mwangi also noted that among the 26 companies who have made their commitments some will require DRC’s government support and made a plea to the DRC government to assist them to conduct feasibility studies. Some of these firms include Kenya Builders & Concrete Co. Ltd which is looking to set up a cement company and Tru Foods Limited looking to set up an edible oil manufacturing plant.
This follows the signing of the accession treaty into the East African Community (EAC) by DRC after admission as the seventh member of the EAC regional bloc during the virtual 19th Extraordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State chaired by President Kenyatta on March 8th.