Congo Call Center is the first independent call center in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its 300 employees run customer service hotlines for corporate clients such as Orange, TIGO, and Samsung in Lingala, Swahili, French, and English.
Part of a nascent industry that is quickly gaining traction in the DRC, the call center also works with social initiatives, such as the National Rural Health Program and the Program to Prevent Sexual Violence.
Congo Call Center is supported by IFC’s SME Ventures program, which provides risk capital and management skills training to entrepreneurs in difficult markets. IFC created and invested in the Central Africa SME Fund, which provided $520,000 to the Congo Call Center in 2013. The investment enabled the company to upgrade its technology and recruit and train new employees, increasing its workforce from 70 to 300 people, most of them recent university graduates.
The call center is part of the First & Future Enterprises Group, headed by two ambitious women, Annie Kwangu and Huguette Bakekolo, both of whom received management training through IFC's Business Edge program. A thriving business, the call center recently secured a loan from Rawbank, an IFC client in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In the future, Annie and Huguette plan to open branches of the call center in other cities in the country. With the recent introduction of the fiber optic cable in the DRC, the co-founders are optimistic that they will be able to reduce call costs and improve connectivity.
Published in April 2016