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country brief

Democratic Republic of Congo

Country Context &

The Democratic Republic of Congo is Africa’s 3rd largest country and is home to over 78 million people (2017).

While conflict has persisted since 1996, 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 DRC and its EAC neighbours. DRC shares 2,500 kms of border with five East African countries including Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan.


TMEA has partnered with EAC governments bordering DRC 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 DRC and their neighbours. Given that, 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, adopting use 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 major 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 roadblocks;
  • Poor governance of border procedures;
  • Harassment – Women traders across these borders are particularly at risk of sexual harassment including rape.


Programme Component Details of expected results by 2023
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
  • Improved trade systems and agencies procedures
  • Enhanced security of cargo in transit

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


Programme Component Details of expected results by 2023
  • 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

Aime Nzohiyera

DRC – Country Director

Aime is the Country Director for the TMEA Democratic Republic of Congo Country Programme, where he works closely with provincial and national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations to promote trade exchanges between the DRC and its neighbouring eastern Africa countries through ports & borders posts infrastructure upgrades, ICT and cross border traders (particularly small and women traders). Aime has a over 17 years’ experience in various managerial functions in United States and Eastern Africa working for several major multi-nationals such as Dialogic (an Intel company), SunGard e-Process Intelligence, Siemens Building Technologies and StateStreet Corporation/Bank. He occupied the functions of ICT Director and e-Business at the Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR). Mr. Aimé Nzoyihera is a graduate in science with concentration in computer science and information systems from New Jersey City University, United States of America.


Phone:+250 788 380 730

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