DRC has one of the least developed road networks in the world. Approximately 85% of the agricultural produce sold in wholesale and retail markets in Kinshasa arrives by boat. With a sparse road network, the Congo River is a crucial economic artery, connecting the country’s vast interior with Kinshasa and providing smallholder farmers access to urban markets. As a result of population growth and urbanisation, demand for river transport services is growing exponentially.

ÉLAN DRC is working on improving transportation on rivers and lakes and road transport systems in order to increase incomes and improve the lives of small farmers by:

  • Improving the efficiency of river transport in terms of time and costs thanks to improved logistics and a clean fiscal environment;

  • Improving the efficiency of inland waterway transport by better coordination of traders along the river system, which will increase vessel turnover and the volume of trade;

  • Reducing capital constraints with new financial products adapted to boat operators;

  • Promoting a public-private dialogue for the improvement of the fiscal environment.

Road transport

  • Introducing new equipment (scooters);

  • Improving the passenger and goods transportation system in rural and urban areas;

  • Developing information systems for better coordination.

Our successful pilot in Basankusu demonstrated that river transporters can achieve a 200% increase in produce transported to Kinshasa. We have facilitated new forms of collaboration between river transporters. This has allowed transporters to build their capacity, to access investment and working capital financing, to grow their operations, and to advocate more effectively through public-private dialogue for the eradication of business-constraining illegal taxes. We also provide technical assistance on the development of a market information system and warehouses to enable traders in Equateur province to communicate transportation needs to river transport operators.