Copper mine in DR Congo

Core area “Training and sustainable growth for decent jobs” Using the country’s wealth of natural resources for sustainable development

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has large reserves of mineral deposits. Although mining is one of the most important sources of income for the national economy, little has been done so far to harness its potential for the economic and social development of the country.

The multinational mining companies active in the DR Congo have so far created very few jobs; local companies have no access to international markets.

In Eastern Congo, all the parties in the conflict are using revenues from minerals trading to fund their fighting. Whereas international trade has largely been successfully contained in the case of the “conflict minerals” tin, tantalum and tungsten, the supply chains for gold are hard to control. Human rights violations, child labour, environmental damage and social tensions are a huge challenge in artisanal and small-scale mines in particular.

German activities

Germany is focusing its efforts on promoting the transparent, peaceful, sustainable and development-oriented use of the country’s mineral resources. German development cooperation activities cover the following areas:

  • Participation by the public and private sectors and civil society in dialogues on mining aimed at promoting a balance of interests
  • Supporting mining cooperatives in introducing and documenting environmental and social standards in artisanal cobalt mining
  • Developing responsible production and supply chains, stemming conflict funding
  • Strengthening Congolese businesses in the supply sector, integrating the industrial mining sector into the local economy, promoting cooperation between international mining companies and small-scale Congolese enterprises
  • Promoting practice-oriented training in the mining sector, knowledge sharing through cooperation with Congolese universities

GIZ and the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) are responsible for the implementation of these activities.

Financial sector development

Another area of intervention for German development cooperation is strengthening the financial system. The Congolese financial sector is severely underdeveloped and the range of financial services on offer is small. However, for a number of years now the sector has been experiencing an upswing: new microfinance institutions and credit cooperatives are emerging; commercial banks are discovering micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as a target group.

On behalf of the BMZ, KfW is supporting a dedicated financial inclusion fund (FPM), which refinances financial institutions, the aim being to facilitate access to credit for MSMEs. In view of the COVID-19 crisis, the BMZ has made available an additional 20 million euros. The focus of GIZ is on promoting financial inclusion for the people of the DR Congo. By building a nationwide trainer network, it has been possible to provide thousands of people with information about opening accounts, getting access to credit and using mobile financial services.