Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in partnership with Equity Group have come together to organise and facilitate a 15-day Trade Mission to DRC from November 29 to December 13 as part of sustained efforts to promote regional trade and spur business growth.
The Trade Mission, which expects to attract over 200 investors and business participants from Kenya, and a similar number from DRC as well as the public, will include trade exhibitions, business forums, and site visits in four of DRC’s largest cities – Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Goma, and Mbuji Mayi.
Speaking today during the launch of the Trade Mission at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi, Ministry of Trade, Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said DRC is the 6th leading export destination for Kenyan products in the world with agricultural and manufactured goods topping the list.
Dr Maina noted that the Trade Mission will strengthen service and product investment between the two nations.
“It will boost trade and development which in turn translates into an economic win for the region and the greater Sub-Saharan Africa,” stated Maina.
Speaking at the launch Second Secretary in the DRC Embassy in Kenya, Botuli Bosaw Geoffrey said that there is significant untapped potential in DRC given that they have a current population of over 100 million potential consumers, mineral resources, fertile agricultural land, and potential for political renewal.
“By empowering local SMEs and fostering foreign investment in the country, we shall awaken an economic giant and increase trade and investment inflows and outflows. We look forward to hosting the Kenyan delegation and will facilitate and support them during their 15 day trade mission in our country,” Botuli added.
Equity Group Managing Director and CEO James Mwangi said the inaugural Trade Mission to the DRC will encourage Kenyan private sector players to venture into the DRC by showing entrepreneurs the untapped opportunities within the market.
Dr Mwangi however commended both the Kenya and DRC governments for promoting regional integration and cooperation.
“We have Sh500 billion available to support and facilitate private sector and the business community to grow and expand their businesses in Kenya and the region. Equity has operated in DRC since 2015 and has grown to become the 2nd largest bank in DRC. We have gained enough experience in the six markets we operate in and the region to support businesses that are looking to venture into DRC and the larger East and Central Africa,” added Dr Mwangi.
Last week Equity Bank signed with Proparco two guarantee facilities, ARIZ and EURIZ totaling €39 million (Sh5 billion) to facilitate the Kenyan bank to further support MSMEs.
The key economic sectors targeted by the Trade Mission are agriculture, education, health, sports, and tourism. Others are environment, SME’s, housing, energy, and infrastructure development.
Kenya’s public and private sectors have been urged to register and participate in this opportunity through the link, http://equitygroupholdings.com/DRCTradeMission.
Equity Group, through Equity Bank Kenya and Equity BCDC, its DRC banking subsidiary, will support to facilitate the trade mission by mobilising SME entrepreneurs, championing the networking, and matching of local businesses to their counterparts in both the DRC and Kenya, and by coordinating the trade mission.
The mission aims at optimizing the opportunities availed by regional cooperation frameworks such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and to leverage trade corridors and create regional supply chains.