democratic republic of the congo
Tag Archive

DP World wins 30-year Congo port concession

Comments (0) Actualites, Africa, Infrastructure, Middle East

DUBAI (Reuters) – DP World said on Sunday it had won a 30-year management and development concession for a greenfield, multi-purpose port in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The Dubai-owned port operator will set up joint venture with the Central African country’s government to manage and invest in the Atlantic Coast’s Port of Banana, it said in a bourse statement.

An initial $350 million will be invested to construct a 600-metre quay and a 25-hectare yard extension with a container capacity of 350,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and 1.5 million tons for general cargo.

Congo has long looked to develop a port along its less than 50 km (30 miles) of coastline to handle larger vessels than those that can reach its existing shallow ports up the Congo River.

Construction is expected to start this year and take two years to complete. A total project cost of over $1 billion, spread over four phases, will be dependent on market demand.

DP World will control 70 percent of the joint venture with the government of the DRC retaining the remaining 30 percent, the statement said.

The award includes an option to extend the concession for an additional 20 years.




(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell. Editing by Jane Merriman)

Read more

Congo’s small miners fill hole left by downsizing multinationals

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

KOLWEZI, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – His toes bursting out of sneakers several sizes too small, a miner hacks with a pick at the copper and cobalt-laced stone in southeastern Congo, slowly filling a sack that could earn him anywhere from a handful to a few hundred dollars.

The 42-year-old father of five, who only gave his first name, Stany, has done this nearly every day for a decade, after he quit his maize fields for the comparatively lucrative mines of Africa’s top copper producer.

But unlike most artisanal mining, this is sanctioned by the Congolese government. As its mining heartland endures mass layoffs at big mines caused by low commodity prices, small-scale mining is helping to fill the deficit.

The price of cobalt, a byproduct of copper, is expected to rise 45 percent by 2020 owing to demand for electric vehicles. Congo holds about half the world’s cobalt reserves.

Seizing the initiative, the national mines ministry has recognised dozens of cooperatives of workers to exploit 10 square kilometre plots of land owned by state miner Gecamines.

Tens of thousands of people also dig near mines owned by giants like Glencore and Eurasian Resources Group, as more than 13,000 jobs have been shed in the formal sector.

Yet, as is often the case, poor local diggers say that it is savvier, well-capitalised foreign buyers who are cashing in. They accuse Chinese and Lebanese middlemen of dominating the market by colluding to drive down prices and rigging their instruments to understate the weight and tenor of ore they buy.

That could store up trouble if discontent turns into unrest, as happened in past years in Zambian copper mines, when workers beat up and killed Chinese mine managers in pay disputes.

At the Musompo market, a smattering of half-built brick and concrete depots 15 kilometres east of Lualaba province’s capital of Kolwezi, miners and traders said that of the roughly 140 buying firms, almost all are Chinese owned.



Lualaba Governor Richard Muyej would rather see farming and tourism, which he considers paths to more inclusive, sustainable development but reluctantly accepts the need to expand small mining in the near term.

Muyej said giving cooperatives measuring instruments would help level the playing field between miners and foreign buyers.

Alain Chinois, the Congolese president of a cooperative with 34 members, said he might be forced to turn to foreign investors to secure the necessary funding. Under his set up, diggers will receive 60 percent of revenues from the mine while cooperative members consisting of Congolese traders running them and an investor — likely Chinese or Lebanese — would split the rest.

He said the cooperatives would result in better working conditions, equipment and access to capital.

“As a cooperative, we can go to a bank as a well-established group,” said Chinois. But he acknowledged that foreign buyers with money to invest would continue to exert major influence.

At Musompo, Louis, a Chinese buyer who checked London Metal Exchange prices on his phone between deliveries, sells to a smelter owned by Congo Dongfang Mining International (CDM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese mineral giant Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Ltd, China’s top cobalt chemicals producer.

According to a January report by Amnesty International, CDM exports to China before selling to battery manufacturers who claim to supply electronics companies including Apple, Samsung SDI and Sony.

Hearing miners’ complaints, Louis shrugged: “Those who are happy with the price sell the product. Those who aren’t, leave.”

And the old concerns about the dangers and abuses of artisanal mining haven’t gone away. At the Tilwizembe mine where Stany works, despite its cooperatives, research by Amnesty in 2013 documented deadly accidents and abuse of workers.

But whatever its flaws, few see a viable alternative to more small-scale mining in the near term.

“I do this because there is nothing else. If something else came along, I would do it,” Stany said.


(By Aaron Ross. Reporting by Aaron Ross; editing by Susan Thomas)

Read more

First International Business Forum in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Featured

Kinshasa International Forum

The first Kinshasa International Forum, #KINFOR16, at the Hotel Beatrice in Kinshasa on the 26 and 27th of January, 2016, is bringing together seven hundred entrepreneurs from Africa, America, Asia and Europe to meet with Congolese innovators and the large companies which operate within the country, aiming to foster new relationships and opportunities through business to business meetings, informal sessions and thematic workshops. The forum is organized jointly by a Belgian organization called Africa Rise and the Democratic Republic of Congo Conseil Economique et Social – C.E.S.

Africa Rise is dedicated to the social and economic development of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and they are already known for their ABBW, Africa Belgium Business Week. They firmly believe that the emergence of a stronger, more capable nation is to be reached through business networking and the sharing of ideas and expertise.

The Conseil Economique et Social is a think tank. They are built up from players within the Congolese society such as employers, workers, NGOs, religious leaders, scientists and bankers. Their role is to advise upon issues chosen for them by the presidency and the state.

The spirit of African Business

Africa in general, and the Democratic Republic of Congo in particular, is no stranger to entrepreneurial spirit and business innovation. The country however has had many years of struggle and while things are improving there are still significant challenges to be met.

Here the entrepreneurial spirit is not something reserved for business people or the creative industries; here the basics of business innovation and entrepreneurship are the very stuff of survival. From Benedict Mundele, the twenty one year old woman from Kinshasa who is aiming to provide a healthy and sustainable lifestyle through Surprise Tropical which she founded at the tender age of sixteen, to Abraham Kazadi, who sells fermented tea in Goma in the troubled east of the country to people in his local community, the spirit of business innovation runs high.

A helping hand where most needed

A forum for these innovators may help to enable the Democratic Republic of Congo to emerge both economically and socially from the troubled haze which has for so long hampered the development of the country. A chance to meet and exchange ideas and experiences with business people from all over the world will be an invaluable asset to the youth of the DRC, where seventy percent of the population is under twenty five.

“It is our strong commitment and a will to contribute to the emergence of a dynamic entrepreneurial scene in Democratic Republic of Congo” said Binta Sagna, Communication Director of Africa Rise.

An interesting idea aimed at just these young innovators is a project called #Kinpitch. As the name suggests this project allows entrepreneurs to pitch their idea, dragon’s den style, to a worldwide panel of business leaders and idea shapers. The seven finalists will be invited to the international forum and be given a year-long mentorship to realize the potential of their ideas.

The First International Forum is a platform for enablement for a troubled but resource-rich nation and hopefully the first of many.

Read more