Equity Group’s plan to introduce Kenya-based investors into the market and opportunities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is paying off after 26 firms committed $1.6 billion (Kes109 billion) worth of investments in the vast country.
The companies were part of the maiden Kenya delegation that took advantage of 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, Optiven Group, Greenlight Planet Limited, Jumbo Foam Limited, BIDCO, Geomaps, Nyanja Associates in DRC among others.
Their investment commitments were revealed during a business dinner hosted by Equity Group to mark the accession treaty by DRC after admission into the East African Community (EAC) and in furtherance of the Kenya-DRC Trade relations.
The dinner was attended by DRC President Felix Tshisekedi and the Kenya DRC trade mission delegation comprising of 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.
President Tshisekedi said his government has put in place reforms to support investors in the DRC.
Some of the initiatives include a three-axis program to protect investment and ensure a good investment climate that consist of legal and security investment, improvement of the tax systems to allow flow of goods in and out of DRC and access to loans for economic cooperators.
He has also created an agency in charge of improvement of business climate to link the institutions to improve both local and foreign investments.
Kenya’s Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development CS Betty Maina thanked Mr Tshisekedi for joining the EAC business community and celebrated the growing links between Kenya and DRC.
Ms Maina noted the significance of DRC’s accession to the EAC and as the 6th leading Kenya export market as she reiterated government’s support to the business community in their reach outs in Kenya and in the DRC.
Equity Group CEO, Dr James Mwangi, expressed his gratitude to Mr Tshisekedi and his government for the support during the trade mission and further expressed the regional lender’s commitment to boost investment in the country with an announcement of US$100 million capital injection in EquityBCDC to enhance capacity to fund development projects and large mining and manufacturing companies.
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 conduct feasibility studies.
Some of these firms include Kenya Builders & Concrete Co. Ltd that is looking to set up a cement company and Tru Foods Limited looking to set up an edible oil manufacturing plant.
DRC joined 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.