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DRC ‘Attracts’ American Investors at US-Africa Summit

  • Peter Clottey

President Barack Obama speaks to participants of the Presidential Summit for the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in Washington, July 28, 2014.

President Barack Obama speaks to participants of the Presidential Summit for the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in Washington, July 28, 2014.

Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) information minister says the just-concluded U.S.-Africa summit presented an opportunity to his government to reintroduce the natural resource-rich country to American business.

It’s a bid to encourage investment in the country, following efforts to improve DRC’s security situation.

Lambert Mende, who attended the three-day summit as part of a delegation led by President Joseph Kabila, said the DRC received lots of attention from American investors and businesses interested in business ventures in the country.

“We think that by enhancing the commercial exchange between the U.S. and African countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, we shall give a chance to our people to find some connection for having a way of selling whatever they are producing there, and of course, for others to find jobs and other ways of fighting unemployment in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Mende.

Mende also said the business leaders were pleased with the improving security situation following the military support the United Nations provided to the national army, which allowed it to go on the offensive against various armed groups who often attack unarmed civilians in some parts of the country.

“They were very attentive to know whatever is going on in our country because it has been a long time since we didn't have a lot of investors from the USA, because we were plunged in a situation of war. But they knew that things were improving now, our president and our colleague of commerce and economy who accompanied the president received a lot of visit [and] a lot of questions about how to help them to come to Congo and invest,” said Mende.

“We witnessed that all of them are very well aware of the improvement of the situation and they were congratulating the president for the way we made disappear some negative forces that were [creating] insecurity in the country,” Mende said.

He said the commerce and economic ministers assured the business leaders about measures the administration has implemented to ensure their investment and businesses are protected.

“We are very much interested to have these businesses back because we experienced very good ties with the United States all these years and it came to a stop due to the war , but now we are sure that they [will] be coming back. Those are people we know and we are working with them. So it is something that we are waiting with very good interest,” said Mende.

“People in Congo know that they need investors to come. We have enjoyed a lot of investors from other countries but we need American investors because the Congolese people are waiting [for] the investors to come back now that the situation is stabilizing. We are just encouraging our compatriots to welcome the investors and to ensure that the investors are not discouraged, to facilitate the way they are going to work in the field,” he said.

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