On the occasion of our Managing Director Ulrich Rieger’s trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we took a closer look at the economic development of the country, that is home to the largest forest areas on the continent and has immense reserves of raw materials.

In recent years, the mining of copper and cobalt in particular has increased, but most of the processing takes place outside the country – often in China. In view of the intensified geopolitical competition and the high relevance of copper, cobalt & co. for the green and digital transformation, there is no way around the DR Congo.

The good news is that political decision-makers around President Félix Tshikesedi are by no means focussing solely on China. The door is open for companies and investors from Europe, as Tshikesedi assured Ulrich Rieger. He has set up a department to act as a point of contact for interested entrepreneurs and ensure maximum investment security on a case-by-case basis.

Current economic figures confirm that the DRC is an interesting investment destination – also beyond its wealth of raw materials:

Economy. According to the IMF, the DRC economy grew by 6.9 percent in 2023. For the current year, economists predict a growth rate of 6.7 percent. The gross domestic product per capita rose from the equivalent of 169 to 654 dollars in the last 20 years. Inflation recently stood at 6.1 per cent.

Population. DRC has around 99 million inhabitants. Annual population growth has declined from 3.4 to 3.2 percent in the last five years. In the same period, the fertility rate has slightly fallen from 6.4 to 6.2 children per woman. Life expectancy was at 59 years recently. 21 percent of the population has access to electricity (twenty years ago, it was 8 percent).

Governance. On Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index, DRC ranks 162th out of 180. The score of 20 points brings the country to the same level as countries like Myanmar and Tajikistan. The DRC has only made small progress in recent years, in 2019 the score was 18 points.

Sources and further information:

World Bank: https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2023/index/cod

Africa Business Guide https://www.africa-business-guide.de/de/maerkte/kongo-dem

Germany Trade & Invest: https://www.gtai.de/resource/blob/9524/42e8d886c8d753bffe5379880f2eebf4/GTAI-Wirtschaftsdaten_Mai_2022_Kongo%20(Dem.%20Rep.).pdf

Transparency International: https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2023/index/nga

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