Financial Data
Updated 21 Sep 2017


DRC

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Overview

As the third-fastest growing economy in the world, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has the potential to be one of the richest countries on the continent due to its abundant natural resources. Private consumption is estimated to grow at approximately 7.6% each year between 2016 and 2025, making it the largest contribution to the country’s overall real GDP growth.

With significant growth prospects within production of its natural resources, as well as within agriculture, retail and financial sectors, foreign investors and businesses looking to expand into the Western Africa region could find viable investment opportunities within the DRC.

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Social overview

DRC-Brochure-Image

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country that offers investors and businesses interested in expanding an abundance of opportunities, although it is not without its challenges. A large population base of approximately 79 375 136, offers businesses access to a substantial labour force.

However, the country’s unemployment rate is at 43%, with 63.6% of the population living below the poverty line.

Currently, 44.4% of the population are under the age of 15, with 53% between 15 and 64 years old. Life expectancy at birth is 60 years old.

 

DRC-Factsheet-Image

DRC’s people
  • Population: 79­ 375 136 people in 2016
  • 44.4% of the population are under the age of 15; 53% of the population are between 15 and 64 years of age; and 2.6% are over the age of 65
  • Languages:French (official), Lingala, Swahili,Kikongo and Tshiluba.
Environmental overview

The DRC offers unique biodiversity, vast mineral and forest resources and rich soil conducive to agriculture.  The Congolese government places land associated with activities that impact the environment, such as energy, mining and forestry, at greater risk of expropriation.

The DRC is home to almost 10% of the world’s tropical forests and around 50% of Africa’s. In 2015, the government introduced a new Forestry Law that allows individuals to manage their own forests. There is a limit to the size of land that an individual can own, although there is no specification as to the amount of wood they can produce.

The constitution drives the protection of land. The mining code requires individuals to submit an environmental impact study and an environmental management plan for the project before mining rights are granted to them.

There are prohibited areas, based on environmental sensitivity. In such places the government does not grant mining rights.

There are several environmental challenges that can be turned into opportunities for businesses to assist with:

  • More than 96% of the DRC’s power consists of hydroelectricity;
  • Rural areas face crop failures and deforestation due to high temperatures being experienced in the country;
  • Flooding and erosion are challenges in the cities of Kinshasa and Kimbaseke;
  • Poor waste disposal practices there are intensifying conditions;
  • Soil erosion affects the quality of water in the country and influences the cost of having to purify water. 
The environment
  • Rural areas face crop failures and deforestation due to high temperatures being experienced in the country.
  • Soil erosion affects the quality of water in the country and elevates the cost of having to purify water. This also threatens the fisheries sector and increases the potential for flooding.
Technology overview

The Internet sector has more than ten companies licensed to offer data services, and the market is open to new investors. But there is inadequate international bandwidth connectivity and transmission backbone infrastructure.

As of 2015, a few banks have been offering e-commerce payment solutions. Mobile payments are the main e-commerce payment method – two million people use mobile payment systems, such as Airtel, M-Pesa and Tigo cash. There are great market share opportunities in the technology sector. The existing online-based businesses each have a market share of 50%, as they have managed to capitalise on being the first businesses to venture into the DRC market.

The DRC’s legal framework does not yet make provision for the governance of technology-based financial systems such as mobile financial services and payment systems. This is hindering the potential for technological innovation.

It is estimated that there were 3.47 million 3G subscriptions in the DRC at the end of 2015. By the end of 2015 there were 47.2 million mobile subscribers. The country has surpassed its 61% mobile penetration mark and expects to reach 80.7% by 2020.

Tech outlook
  • It is estimated that there were 3.47 million 3G subscriptions in the DRC at the end of 2015
  • By the end of 2015 there were 47.2 million mobile subscribers in the DRC
  • As of 2015, only a few banks were offering e-commerce payment solutions with mobile payments being the main e-commerce payment method.
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