The Government of Kenya and the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in partnership with the Equity Group have organized a 15-day Trade Mission to DRC from 29th November to 13th December, 2021.

The trade mission is part of sustained efforts by the two countries to promote regional trade and business growth.

The trade mission expects to attract over 200 investors and business participants from Kenya, and a similar number or more from DRC and the public. It will include trade exhibitions, business forums, and site visits in four of DRC’s largest cities; Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Goma, and Mbuji Mayi.

To register, interested participants should visit the Equity Trade Mission website and follow the instructions provided.

This joint initiative is a result of an agreement between H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and H.E President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier in April 2021. The two Principals signed bilateral agreements between Kenya and the DRC aimed at enhancing trade and the movement of people and goods.

The trade mission comes at a time when DRC’s application to join the East African Community (EAC) has passed the technical committee stage. The regional council of Ministers is expected to deliver the final verdict this November.

Equity Group, through Equity Bank Kenya and EquityBCDC, its DRC banking subsidiary, will support to facilitate the trade mission by mobilizing SMEs, championing networking, and coordinating operations. The mission aims at optimizing the opportunities availed by regional cooperation frameworks such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and to leverage trade corridors and create regional supply chains.

Speaking at the launch of the Trade Mission, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industrialization and Enterprise Development Dr. Betty Maina said, “DRC is the 6th leading export destination for Kenyan products in the world with agricultural and manufactured goods topping the list. This Trade Mission will strengthen service and product investment between the two nations, and we are looking to explore more partnership opportunities in various sectors of the economy.”

Equity Bank recently signed with Proparco two guarantee facilities, ARIZ and EURIZ totaling Ksh. 5 billion (€39 million) to facilitate the bank to further support MSMEs.

The key economic sectors targeted by the Trade Mission are agriculture, education, health, sports, and tourism.