Democratic Republic of Congo

Country Brief


Strategy 2 total budget summary


Current: US $7.6 Million
Donor: The Netherlands


Country Context

The Democratic Republic of Congo is Africa’s 3rd largest country and is home to over 75 million people.

While conflict has persisted since 1998, its severity around the Eastern side of the country has reduced in the recent past. With renewed hope of a peaceful future, communities are now working together to create economic opportunities. This has inspired governments in the Great Lakes Region (GLR) and the international community to intensify efforts to foster economic co-operation between Eastern DRC and its EAC neighbours. DRC shares more than 2,000 kms of border with five East African countries including: Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan.

TMEA Approach

TMEA has partnered with EAC governments bordering Congo and international community to roll out economic interventions along DRC and EAC borders. This will contribute to creation of income generating opportunities which will strengthen livelihoods for the people of Congo and their neighbours. Given, cross border trade between DRC and EAC is estimated at US$ 0.5 billion in 2014 , 50% of which is informal. This suggests that for sustainable change, interventions should promote both formal and informal trade. TMEA project will target both formal and informal strands of trade; anchored on capacity building of traders, developing physical infrastructure, adoption of ICT and strengthening government institutional support. This is a sustainable way to lift citizens out of the cycle of poverty and offers potential for increased peace and stability along the borders, opening doors to improved livelihoods.

Current constraints to Cross Border Trade in Eastern DRC include:

  • Poor roads and border infrastructure,
  • Multiplication of border clearance processes leading to long delays at the border
  • Lack of cross border trade information and knowledge
  • Extortion, high taxes, multiple unofficial road blocks
  • Poor governance of border procedures.
  • Harassment – Women traders across these borders are particularly at risk of sexual harassment including rape.

Highlights of TMEA DRC programmes 2017-2023

Thematic Areas Programme Component Details of expected results by 2023
REDUCING BARRIERS TO TRADE Upgrading of infrastructure & border systems at Kasenyi(DRC) / Ntoroko (UG) ports.

Ntoroko/ Kasenyi are juxtaposed ports on Lake Albert. They provide water transport for traders to the city of Bunia and the hinterland until Kisangani.

Repaved the Jetty at Kasenyi which is reinforced with concrete. Capstans and rails installed.

Repaved Ntoroko access road

New concrete jetty with warehousing capacity for 40 ft containers.

Contribute to reduced time to transport goods through the port
Upgrade infrastructure and border systems of Mahagi (DRC) / Goli (UG) border crossings.

This border crossing is located between Gulu and Kisangani while also linking up with the population centers of Arua (UG) and Bunia (DRC).

OSBP designed

Existing building and other infrastructures including roads, warehousing rehabilitated and modified.

Reduce time taken for goods to clear and cross the border

Reduce costs related to border clearance processes

Upgrade Port of Kalundu

Kalundu Port is the main entry point for trade into the Kivu, Ituri and the hinterland until Kisangani. The Port is threatened by sedimentation at the port entrance. The sand bank has raised to the point where vessels accessing the port run a high risk of grounding. The height also means that larger ships cannot access the port

Dredging of the port and removal of sand banks Contribute to reduced average time to import and export goods through the Kalundu port from XX days to XX days.

Larger ships dock at the port and volume of trade increases by XX

Introduce modern Border Management practices and reduce NTBs at all borders Innovative border management systems and reduced non-tariff barriers.

Capacity of customs officials enhanced

Use of ICT such as Cargo Monitoring System to increase security of cargo links to other CMSs in the region will be promoted.

Improved trade systems and agencies procedures

Enhanced security of cargo in transit

BUSINESS COMPETITIVENESS Increased export capacity of businesses around Rusizi border

Greater inclusion of women and small businesses in trade

Empower women co-operatives ( producers and traders) to produce export ready products and link them to markets on either side of the DRC border.

Mobilise women in cross border trade to form cooperatives and trader associations for market access.

Upgrade border warehouses, feeder roads, bridges and other light infrastructure.


Undertake studies on flow of goods across border to inform interventions and investments.

Women informal cross border traders access market and trade information;

Increased formalisation and formation of small business; Establishment/ strengthened institutional capacity of women cross border trade associations