The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country with vast resources across and below its surface that is equivalent to the U.S. east of the Mississippi river. Rich in its soil and subsoil; it is a country with strong economic potential and agricultural growth. Yet, years of wars and corruption led to the destruction of the country’s already unstable economic fabric, leaving 64% of the estimated 77 million Congolese in poverty. With a GNI per capita of $410 in 2015, and ranking 176 out of 187 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), the country is among the poorest countries in the world.
We envision a Democratic Republic of Congo where ALL people, regardless of social status or privilege, participate in innovative, economic development and contribute to the growth and vitality of their communities. However, the lack of opportunity, consistent regulations, mentorship, and capital needed to grow a sustainable, ethical business remains a challenging obstacle in a business climate characterized by endemic corruption.
In response, Congo Initiative launched two economic development and entrepreneurship programs: Neema Congo and Wakisha. These programs provide economic mentoring and capital for entrepreneurs regardless of social position.