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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.


TMA 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. TMA 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.

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Aime Nzohiyera

Country Director

Aime is the Country Director for the TMA 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