country brief

Democratic Republic of Congo

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 2,000kms of the border with five East African countries including: Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan.


Strategy 2 Total Budget Summary

Current: US $7.6

Million Donor: The Netherlands


TMA has partnered with EAC governments bordering Congo and International community to roll out economic interventions along DRC and EAC borders. This will contribute to the 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 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, 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 roadblocks
  • Poor governance of border procedures.
  • Harassment – Women traders across these borders are particularly at risk of sexual harassment including rape.

Increased Physical Access to Markets

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.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).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 sandbank 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 portContribute 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 bordersImproved trade systems and agencies procedures Enhanced security of cargo in transit


Increased export capacity of businesses around Rusizi border Greater inclusion of women and small businesses in tradeWomen 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