DRC AT A GLANCE
Population: 66 million (2011)
GDP per capita: $160 (2011)
DRC is working to strengthen its economy after decades of stagnation caused by conflict and instability.
Although fighting continues to this day and poverty and unemployment are widespread, pockets of private enterprise are thriving, and the resource-rich country has the potential for rapid growth once its security situation improves.
DRC is benefitting from $12 billion in debt relief backed by the World Bank and IMF in 2010, but weak infrastructure, including an unreliable power supply and a difficult business environment, are major obstacles holding back the country’s economy.
IFC’s CASA program is focusing its efforts in DRC on helping improve the investment climate, and on increasing access to finance for smaller businesses, supporting gender equality in the private sector, and strengthening the country’s important agriculture sector.
Improving the Investment Climate
IFC is partnering with DRC’s public and private sectors to establish special economic zones to encourage investment in the country, especially in light industry and agribusiness.
IFC is also helping the government implement legal and regulatory changes that will make it easier for businesses to do business. Part of this work includes helping DRC implement OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) regulations. In this regard, IFC has facilitated a comprehensive training program for hundreds of magistrates and government officials.
Supporting SME Growth, Financial Infrastructure
A partnership with DRC’s Rawbank is helping hundreds of entrepreneurs and smaller businesses – especially those run by women – more easily access loans and gain the management skills they need to succeed.
Smaller businesses in DRC, especially those in agriculture, are also benefitting from IFC’s SME Toolkit and Business Edge management training programs, which offer a wide variety of training material.
IFC is also supporting DRC’s efforts to establish regulations that will foster credit bureau and leasing programs in the country. Once established, these programs will further enhance the ability of businesses to access financing.
Over the next three years, the Village Phone Program expects to help 5000 entrepreneurs establish businesses selling telephone airtime in their local communities. Village Phone is focused on supporting women entrepreneurs.