AfDB Group aims to drive inclusive and sustainable structural transformation in the DRC through targeted initiatives
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB Group) convened on 17 January 2024 in Abidjan to give the nod to the 2023-2028 Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This strategic document, aimed at reducing fragility and fostering inclusive development, sets its sights on the twin goals of industrialization and job creation, with a strong emphasis on gender balance.
Key Objectives: The CSP outlines two major priorities. Firstly, it underscores the need for sustainable infrastructure to bolster agricultural and industrial value chains. Secondly, it highlights the importance of enhancing human capital and improving the business climate to drive social inclusion and stimulate private sector growth within the DRC.
Inclusive Agricultural Development: To address the first priority, the AfDB commits to supporting the development of value chains in critical agricultural sectors, including cassava, maize, soya, and rice. This initiative aims not only to create jobs but also to reduce food insecurity and the country’s reliance on food imports. The Bank will also play a role in transport projects, connecting production regions with markets through a blend of infrastructure and related works. In the energy sector, public-private partnerships will be promoted, and a partial risk guarantee will be provided for the construction and operation of a 118-megawatt power plant.
Human Capital and Business Climate Improvement: In pursuit of the second priority, the Bank will actively contribute to governance reforms and skills development, focusing on empowering youth for employability and entrepreneurship. Key targets include enhancing the qualification and employability of young people, facilitating access to financing, and fostering an improved business climate. Governance efforts will concentrate on capacity building for professional insertion in value chains and bolstering local governance of decentralized territorial entities.
Strategic Consultation and Implementation: Serge N’Guessan, AfDB Director General for Central Africa, emphasized the thorough and consultative process behind the creation of the Country Strategy Paper. Leveraging past successes, the document envisions further structural transformation to diminish fragility in the region.
Current Portfolio and Commitments: As of September 30, 2023, the Bank’s active portfolio in the DRC comprised 27 operations (21 national and 6 regional) amounting to a cumulative commitment of USD 1.45 billion.