The DRC is the 15th largest importer in Africa, making it an important potential market for any country actively pursuing export-led growth.

Through the EU Africa RISE (Reform for Investment and Sustainable Economies) programme, Imani Development and consortium partners have been working closely with the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre to develop a market entry strategy to Boost Botswana’s exports to DRC.

The strategy targets the opportunities in the Haut Katanga region given its relative stability, high levels of economic activity (including Mining) and purchasing power, and population growth. Market entry is multi-pronged and phased, with an initial focus on fast moving consumer goods sold to Congolese traders in the border town of Kasumbalesa in Zambia to be followed by building strong market linkages with business in the regional capital, Lubumbashi for direct exports. The exports of goods from Botswana stand to gain greatly from the construction of the bridge and one stop border post at Kazungula between Botswana and Zambia. The strategy also envisages facilitating commercial presence in Lubumbashi for services exports to the Mines and potentially for tourism development.

The development of the Market Entry Strategy drew heavily on interviews with business in Botswana, those in Zambia trading with DRC, Congolese Traders, Customs officials, and the transports and commercial banks providing services to exporters. These provided most of the key insights as formal trade data does not capture the true nature of trade because of the high levels of informal trade. The team was also able to draw on the border surveys of informal cross border trade that they had previously carried out for COMESA and for SADC.

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