The DRC government is serious about creating a better business environment in one of the most exciting emerging economies on the African continent, says Soren du Preez, the director of the upcoming annual iPAD investment conference in Kinshasa.  The conference has always enjoyed a high-level government support and participation and this year is no exception with, so far, the ministers of Mines, Hydrocarbons and Planning, the vice-prime minister of Reconstruction in charge of post, telephones, and telecommunications and the Central Bank governor, among others, attending.  

iPAD = Infrastructure Partnerships for African Development
Already in its sixth year, the iPAD DRC conference and exhibition will this year once again focus on the mining industry and the industrial development in the country.  Taking place from 25-27 October, conference sessions will also provide practical insight into the financial, logistical and energy requirements necessary to support industrial operations and economic development.

Here’s to the next 50 years

iPAD DRC director Soren Du Preez says this year, in which the DRC is celebrating its 50th anniversary, there is a buoyant and positive outlook in the country:  “Although the macroeconomic structure of the nation came under great strain in 2009 with growth slowing to 2.5% due to the global economic downturn, growth is expected to recover to 6.5% in 2010 and increase as high as 8.8% in 2011 with particularly favorable conditions for the mining industry.  With positive forecasts in place the DRC’s golden anniversary year may just prove to transform the climate for doing business within Congolese borders.  Great progress has already been made in the first half of 2010 with the induction into the African Business Law Harmonisation Organisation (OHADA).”  

Government rolls out the red carpet
According to Soren du Preez, the DRC government reveres iPAD as a national tradition set to improve international perceptions of the country, boost investment into key infrastructure verticals, and “provide a red carpet environment in which the government and its stakeholders can meet with business leaders and mining professionals to establish strategic partnerships and pave the way for creating a better business environment.”

“This kind of high-level conference can only work if the government believes in it and gives its backing whole-heartedly”, says Soren, “this sends a really positive message to the business world and prospective investors and create enormous credibility for the DRC.”

Katanga to lead the way?
An extra conference day has been planned to take place in Katanga, “because the mining sector in Katanga is likely to be the catalyst to kick-start the recovery of the DRC economy”, says Soren du Preez.  “We recognize the resonant importance of this lucrative industry and thriving province and the post-conference briefing will offer direct access to business intelligence in Katanga and allow conference participants to engage first-hand with Congolese business leaders who can provide local value-added service and facilitate cross-border partnerships.”

High-level cabinet ministers and senior representatives prospective investors will meet at iPAD DRC include:

  • H.E. General Denis Kalume Honorary Secretary of State, Actual Commissioner of the 50th  Anniversary Committee, DRC
  • H.E. Martin Kabwelulu Labilo, Minister of Mines, DRC
  • H.E. Celestin Mbuyu Kabango, Minister of Hydrocarbons, DRC
  • H.E. Wu Zexian, Chinese Ambassador, DRC
  • H.E. Simon Bulupiy Galati, Vice Prime Minister in charge of Reconstruction: Ministry of Post, Telephones, and Telecommunications, DRC*
  • H.E. Olivier Kamitatu Etsu, Minister of Planning, DRC*
  • H.E. Laure-Marie Kawanda Kayena, Minister of Transport and Communication Channels, DRC*
  • Mazunga Kimbembe, Counsellor in charge of Infrastructure, Presidency, DRC
  • H.E. Gilbert Tshiongo Tshibinkubula Wa Tumba, Minister of Energy, DRC
  • H.E. Célestin Mbuyu Kabango, Minister of Hydrocarbons, DRC
  • Moise Katumbi, Governor of Katanga Province, DRC*
  • H.E. Laurent Kahozi, Katanga Minister of Infrastructure, DRC
  • Mr. Jean-Claude Masangu Mulongo, Governor, Central Bank of Congo, DRC
  • H.E. Juvenal Kitungwa, Katanga Minister of Mines, DRC

*invited

Event website:  www.ipad-africa.com/drc

Event dates and locations:  
25-27 October 2010, Grand Hotel, Kinshasa, DRC;
29 October 2010, Grand Karavia Hotel, Lubumbashi, DRC

For more information, interviews and accreditation:
Communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Tel. +27 21 700 3558
Fax. +27 21 700 3501
Mobile: +27 82 562 7844
Email:  annemarie.roodbol@clarionevents.com