Equity Bank to support investors seeking DRC business deals

Monday December 27 2021
Equity pic

Equity Group Managing Director and CEO Dr James Mwangi at the Equity Centre in Nairobi on Monday, October 25, 2021. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

By The East African

Nairobi. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has tipped Kenyans to invest in its minerals and agricultural sectors in deals that will get Equity Bank financing.

The Governor of the East Kasai Province, Jeanette Musuamba, said the DRC - which has diamonds, iron, gold, cobalt, coltan and other minerals - provides lucrative investment opportunities.

“Serious exploitation can be explored for processing diamonds and other minerals at an industrial level. We also have massive deposits of construction materials like sand and granite, which exists in many areas,” said the governor - adding that the demand for suitable housing remains insatiable.

Ms Musuamba said this when she hosted the Kenya-DRC mission comprising 300 investors and other participants from Kenya.

The investors are visiting DRC on a two-week trade mission as part of an Equity Group-backed partnership with the governments of Kenya and DRC to foster trade and investment ties.

DRC, whose application to join the East African Community bloc was approved in principle this week, has a population of 93 million (nearly twice that of Kenya) with 45 percent of the population in towns, presenting consumption opportunities.

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Equity - through its Kenyan arm and its DRC subsidiary EquityBCDC - is looking to fund businesses that are seeking opportunities in four DRC cities: Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Goma, and Mbuji Mayi.

“This trade mission was organised with the sole purpose of unlocking trade, tourism and investment opportunities in DRC - and this is already bearing fruit,” said EquityBCDC managing director Celestin Mukeba. (NMG)

“It is in this vein of expanding wealth that Equity has brought more than 300 Kenyans to DRC in four cities for networking and matchmaking.”

Equity has pointed to the strategic importance of its DRC’s subsidiary to its future growth.

Equity first entered into the DRC in September 2015 after acquiring a 79 percent stake in SME-focused ProCredit Bank in a Sh4.5 billion share swap deal that saw it issue 70.8 million shares to investors in the subsidiary.

Equity last year followed up with acquiring 66.53 percent stake in BCDC.

The DRC is the sixth biggest export market for Kenyan goods, helped by historical trade linkages and direct air links between Nairobi and DRC’s Kinshasa and Lubumbashi.