Equity Group is partnering with the governments of Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo for a two-week trade mission that is expected to foster trade and investment relations following the latter’s application to join the East African Community.
The lender, 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.
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.
“We have gained enough experience in the six markets we operate in and the region to support businesses that are looking to venture into DRC and the larger East and Central Africa,” said Equity Group chief executive James Mwangi.
It is targeting businesses in housing, infrastructural development, environment, agriculture, education, health, mining, and energy to leverage on the country’s population size of over 100 million people for growth.
The lender recently said it will finance Kenyan and South African businesses looking to trade or invest in the Africa with part of Sh500 billion funds raised from global lenders and customers deposits.
The Kenya-DRC mission expects to attract over 200 investors and business participants from Kenya, and a similar number from DRC and will include trade exhibitions, business forums, and site visits in the four of DRC cities.
Trade, Industrialisation and Enterprise Development minister Betty Maina said that the mission will translate into a win for Kenyan firms, particularly agricultural and manufactured goods producers who top the list of exporters to the DRC.
“This trade mission will strengthen service and product investment between the two nations, and we are looking to explore more partnership opportunities in various sectors of the economy,” said Ms Maina.