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DRC: Katanga youth project hopes to cut minerals dependence

DRC: Katanga youth project hopes to cut minerals dependence

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is Africa’s largest copper producer, and heavily relies on the mining sector, which, alongside its small oil industries accounts for 98 percent of its export earnings. But majority of the citizens live in poverty.

The International Labor Organization has moved in to set up a programme on occupational and entrepreneurship training to improve the employability of young apprentices in the country where majority of the population is under the age of 25.

In this poultry farm in Lubumbashi, the mining capital of southern DRC, young entrepreneurs who have received training and funding from the project are hoping to stimulate production and increase chicken supply to customers in parts of the city.

Frank Kakel Mbumb, once unemployed for several years with a diploma in food production, is now running his poultry farm enterprise after receiving a microfinance loan and training from the PAEJK programme.

Speaking about his business, Frank says: “we want to become a national leader in poultry production. Because today we’re raising about a hundred chickens, but our target is to produce thousands. We also want to incorporate other poultry farmers, since we’re a cooperative.”

Speaking about the future of the PAEJK project, Frédéric Lapeyre, the ILO-PAEJK General Coordinator said the importance is to “ensure that the programme of activities drove the momentum for change and that the momentum for change could be sustained by the participants themselves and continue beyond the end of the PAEJK project.”

Known as PAEJK in French, for Activity Programme for Youth Employment in Katanga, the project has trained over 1,000 young people in Katanga in diesel mechanics, welding, crafts and food production.