As the DRC has taken over the reigns of the SADC leadership, the country is preparing to ride the post-recession wave of direct investment in the country’s economy, particularly in the mining industry.  After a challenging year for the sector and inn the run-up to the only international business investment forum in the country next month, there is still unprecendented interest from foreign investors in the DRC’s mineral resources, long a source of conflict.

According to Nicole Smith, conference director of the Infrastructure Partnerships for African Development DRC (iPAD DRC), a top level gathering of investors, cabinet ministers and business leaders in Kinshasa from 6-8 October, the country is ready for investment and eager to get its house in order.

“As the global economy begins to resuscitate, the mining sector follows in stride.  DRC lay witness to over 9 billion USD of investment on behalf of China during the first half of 2009, with capital scheduled to be injected into both mining operations and infrastructure.  Although production in the mining sector did directly suffer in conjunction with the global economic downturn and a consequent decline in demand for minerals, the forecast for the DRC is now looking positive for a full revival of this sector with renewed opportunity to form public-private partnerships for exploration, extraction, and production”.

There is a strong focus on mining at the iPAD event, including these high-level perspectives from the DRC government and the private sector:

  • Behind the Mirror: Political and economic approach to Reconstruction
    His Excellency Prof. Émile Bongeli, Vice-Prime Minister in charge of Reconstruction, Prime Ministerial Office, DRC
  • Keynote address
    His Excellency Olivier Kamitatu Etsu, Miniser, Ministry of Planning, DRC
  • Message from the Ministry of Mines, DRC
    His Excellency Martin Kabwelulu Labilo, Minister, Ministry of Mines, DRC
    His Excellency Victor Kasongo Shomary, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Mines, DRC
  • Perspectives, potential and challenges from North Kivu – blueprint for the future of mining in DRC?
    His Excellency Julien Paluku Kahongya, Governor, North Kivu Province, DRC
  • Comparative analysis of the Congolese mining sector and benchmarks evaluated by investors
    Poupak Bahamin, Partner, Heenan Blaikie, Canada
  • Updates on Sino-Congolese Partnerships
    His Excellency Wu Zexian, Ambassador, Embassy of China, DRC

Top mining houses and suppliers will be at the conference, including:  AEL, Africo Resources, Anglogold, Anvil Mining, Banro Corporation, Debeers, DLA Piper, Fasken Martineau, First Quantum Minerals,Grinaker, Group Malta Forrest, Jonah Mining, Katanga Mining, Kilogoldmines, Mwana Africa, Ruashi/Metorex, Simmons & Simmons, Southern Era Diamonds, Tenke Fungurume,TransAfrika Resources, Tiger Resources, Vale, Moto Goldmines and MagEnergy.

iPAD DRC has become the largest annual forum in the DRC to explore strategies for infrastructure development in the mining, power, transport, banking and telecommunication sectors.  The conference and exhibition is the only international business-to-business forum in the DRC for government and business to meet and explore opportunities for developing and investing in the infrastructure of the country and the region in general.

Says the conference director Nicole Smith: “since its inauguration 5 years ago, iPAD DRC has witnessed increased flows of capital into the DRC, despite so-called risks and despite the current downturn which has affected the mining sector and commodities like copper and diamonds.  In the meantime, we have seen increased investment into sectors like energy, transport, and communications.  Now that the transition to a peace-time economy is getting underway, as a result of the commitment to growing stability in regions like North and South Kivu, there is rejuvenated investor enthusiasm.”  

The high-level programme includes a unique visit to Inga I and II hydroelectricity plant in Bas-Congo province.   

“Plans for Inga III are forging ahead and the success of this project will not only implicate the DRC but the Central and Southern African region as a whole,” says Nicole Smith. “Ultimately this project aims to electrify South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola.  The DRC is now not only the most exciting exploration opportunity on the continent with a wealth of natural resources and mineral reserves within its borders but is also a pivotal component for regional economic development in Southern and Central Africa.”

Contact us for a complete updated programme or download from the event website:  www.ipad-africa.com/drc  

For more information please contact:
Conference director:  Nicole Smith
Phone: +27 21 700 3500 / 888 559 8017 (US)
Email: nicole.smith@spintelligent.com

For media enquiries, accreditation and speaker interviews contact:
PR Manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Phone:  +27 (0) 21 700-3500 EXT: 3558
Mobile:  +27 (0) 82 562 7844
Email:  annemarie.roodbol@spintelligent.com
More events by Spintelligent:  www.spintelligent-events.com

Event location:
Grand Hotel
Av. Batetela 12
Kinshasa Gombe
Democratic Republic of Congo