Arguably one of the most underdeveloped countries in Africa, when using the gage of widespread mineral and economic resources that go untapped, the Democratic Republic of Congo is an opportunity hub wherever the plague of war has not extended its blighting wand.
Demographically, the Congo has a vast landmass, the third largest in Africa after Sudan and Algeria, of 2 345 400 square kilometers. For this reason, economic analysts usually tag the resource-and people-rich DRC as the largest market in the Great Lakes region. In terms of business opportunities, it is fair to say that the country has no peer for it meets the two elements that drive economics: popular demand and abundant supplies. The only hindrance is rampant poverty that reduces the buying power, as well as, underdevelopment of opportunity areas, some of which like Katanga, are unreachable due to the scourge of intermittent civil war.
Business Opportunities in DRC
The Democratic Republic of Congo is a mineral nation. But these are not all an investor can tap. Agronomic activities along the major internal waterways like the Congo River (Zaire) suffices to produce the same harvest as Egyptian lowlands along the Nile Basin usually produce, if only the right machinery came into place. The country has 120 million hectares of unused but fertile grounds. These can turn a fortune for the savvy agriculturalist who can take a huge chunk along the three thousand-kilometer length of the mighty river. Alternatively, investors can resuscitate memories of Conrad’s novel, Heart of Darkness’ claustrophobic concern with the forested lands along this river, which form 45 percent of the entire equatorial forestland in Africa. This can be a sufficient logging apologia for those in the timber business, specializing in hardwood. The government has also been investing in hydro power but this is not enough, leaving room for more exploration. Experts speculate that the hydro resource is capable of succoring several nations including another continent like Europe, were it in full utility.
The mineral business in DRC could potentially be a multi-billion-dollar one, were it not for the underdevelopment characterized by the side effects of militia uprisings. However, the turn of the screw where investors may earn rewards includes in coal, copper, diamond, iron ore, oil, gold and methane gas, among other minerals that spread throughout the vast DRC.
The government has made strides that are intent on improving security in the sector.
Polices are becoming regional and international in scope. By joining the Organization Pour I’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires (OHADA), the Congolese government has opened up more flexible opportunities for international firms.