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DRC Opportunities abound for Kenyan professionals

Kenyan firms have committed to invest over $ 1.6 Billion in the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) in various projects and sectors. The disclosure was made in April by Equity Group, which participated in last year’s Kenya-DRC trade Mission, which attracted the participation of 26 Kenyan small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs.

By Gerro B

Kenyan professional bodies have been challenged to tap into the emerging regional opportunities created by the membership of DRC in the East African Community and the ongoing liberalization of the Ethiopian economy.

The remarks were made by renowned lawyer Prof. PLO Lumumba while addressing members of the Institute of Certified Secretaries (ICS) in Nairobi, during ICS’s 27th annual dinner and awards ceremony held in Nairobi, over the weekend.

“The East Africa Community presents new opportunities, which your profession can explore as part of its strategic growth. DRC and Ethiopia present a new goldmine. You should be getting ready to take lead in terms of training,” he said.

The attorney commended the Institute for being steadfast in its mandate of promoting good corporate governance, through strategic collaborations and initiatives.

ICS chair Diana Tanui said the institute has partnered with public agencies, the private sector and county governments in the promotion of good governance through its annual Champions of Governance Awards.

“We are looking towards sharing expertise on good governance at the devolved level of government by holding conventions for county governments and meetings with various entities in the country to enhance good governance,” she explained.

In a speech read on her behalf by Justice Maureen Onyango of the Employment and Labor Relations Court, Chief Justice Martha Koome reiterated the strategic role of certified secretaries in the social-economic transformation of the country in enhancing best practices and good corporate governance, especially on boards.

“The demand for certified secretaries to reinforce the culture of good corporate governance can’t be underestimated as the country has witnessed a ‘corporate governance’ crisis,” explained the CJ.

She added that they will continue to implement the Champions of Governance Award (COG) which recognizes organizations and individuals that exhibit the highest standards of good governance.

COG, a coveted award within the ranks of Kenya’s blue-chip companies has over the years remained an impetus in encouraging the culture of good governance.

The annual ceremony seeks to recognize and honor members who have rendered exemplary service to the profession and the country.

DR Congo Opportunities

The resource portfolio of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the newest member of the East African Community, is impressive and unmatched in the region.

It has cobalt, gold, diamond, aluminum, copper and other precious minerals; 95 million people, numerous water bodies, vast farmland, rich biodiversity, and the world’s second-largest rain forest.

Congo’s mineral reserves, added to the hydroelectric power potential of the giant Inga dam — an Agenda 2063 flagship project meant to contribute to the East African Power Pool — are assets for which Kinshasa is being wooed the world over. And now the EAC has the dibs on ventures around this transition.

The DRC is the world’s leading producer of cobalt, used in the manufacture of batteries. It is also the world’s fourth-largest producer of copper, used in the assembly of electric cars and the infrastructure of most renewable energy sources. Lithium deposits, estimated at over 130 million tonnes, are also present in the southeast.

In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Kinshasa plays a central role in the provision of raw materials, without which important technological components would not exist.

Congo has most of the mineral ores that produce key components in making computer chips and electric vehicles, technologies that are powering the drive to the future. In a typical computer, copper and gold are key components used in making the monitor, printed circuit boards and chips.

The new EAC now offers a combined market-driven economy of 266 million people and a GDP of $243 billion.

DRC, sub-Sahara’s largest country, will also be EAC’s largest. It brings her French heritage and, together with Rwanda and Burundi, gives EAC a new identity: Africa’s largest Francophone bloc.

In the last quarter of 2021, DRC accounted for 96 percent of Rwanda’s total re-exports, covering food and live animals ($ 39.87 million), mineral fuels and lubricants ($ 33.55 million), according to Rwanda’s Institute of Statistics.

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