Strategic Analysis: Russian Business Activity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Abstract)

Potentially due to the risk/reward calculations of becoming overly committed to an unstable DRC, it appears that Moscow has yet to establish a robust economic or financial presence in the country. With a lack of large-scale business engagement, the Russian presence appears to hinge around the following areas of cooperation and engagement:

  1. the sale of weapons;
  1. the presence of Russian military personnel in the DRC under the auspices of the UNs observation or peacekeeping mission;
  1. an active Embassy presence in Kinshasa that has made an effort to enhance the availability of Russian language training courses and continue the recruitment of DRC students and professionals to training programs in Russia; and
  1. exploratory relationships involving certain Russian mining companies, notably Alrosa, that are seeking to determine the value (i.e., cost/benefit calculations) of operating in the DRC

 

Excerpted Deals and Transactions:

  • Under its police training programs, in May 2013, the first group of five Congolese police officers traveled to Russia for two months. From 2013 to 2014, four groups of Congolese and a total of 20 police officers completed 2-month training stints in Russia. In 2013, Russia also offered police officers from the DRC scholarships for 6-year educations, designed to achieve a comprehensive training regimen for highly qualified officers.
  • In February 2013, a course was launched at the Diplomatic Academy in Kinshasa teaching the Russian language. The class was jointly established as a result of work between the Diplomatic Academy of the DRC, the Russian Embassy in the DRC (Kinshasa) and the Russian Fund for the Promotion of Culture also known as the Russkiy Mir Foundation (which reportedly provided all the necessary materials and equipment). In December 2014, an event was held announcing the resumption of this class (which had been stopped for a short time) that was attended by the Russian Ambassador and a number of other DRC officials.[1]
  • In 2008, it was reported that Alrosa CEO had met with President Kabila and reached an agreement to permit the company to prospect in the DRC. Details on the actual implementation of this deal, however, are not available. More recently, in January 2014, Catoca (8% owned by Russias Alrosa and 32.8% owned by Angolas state-owned diamond mining company) received the Ambassador of the DRC to Angola at one of its sites in the country to ascertain potential collaboration between the two within the DRC. Despite joint ownership with Angola, Catoca operates under Russian management.