LAURE“Peace and Security are key pre-requisites for a sustainable economic development. Over years, the peacekeeping mission’s presence has significantly contributed to the country’s economic recovery.”

Exclusive interview with Laure Gnassou, Economic Affairs Officer in the Political Affairs Division of MONUSCO, and speaker at the upcoming iPAD DRC in Kinshasa in October.

1. Please tell us more about your work as Economic Affairs Officer with MONUSCO?

I joined the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), which became the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) on 1 July 2004. Within the Political Affairs Division of the Mission, my advisory and research work covers inter alia, the macroeconomic challenges that the DR Congo faces on its path from post-conflict to stabilization and reconstruction.

2. You are working closely with the private sector in your activity – how has the response been?

Yes, I have developed a useful range of contacts with the private sector, notably the Federation des Entreprises du Congo (FEC). The positive and dynamic response of the economic operators is critical to analyze the challenges that the DR Congo’s economy faces. I have also maintained regular contact with the Congolese policymakers as well as the representatives of the international organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

3. You will chair a session during the upcoming iPAD DRC on “Investment in the mining sector: private equity, debt & raising capital” – what are you hoping for in terms of this session?

According to the 2015 UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World investment report, in 2014, the DR Congo attracted USD 2,063,000,000 of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows, mainly in the mining sector. The same year, it is one of the top 5 host economies of the Great Lakes Region. The session will provide an outlook on mining regulation and finance. I am hopeful that discussions will highlight private equity investment, as a source of funding new industrial mining projects in the DR Congo, a major rent-based economy in Africa.

4. What will be your message at the event?

I am confident that my participation in the iPAD DRC, one of major economic events in the DR Congo, will continue increasing MONUSCO visibility among Congolese and foreign economic operators. Peace and Security are key pre-requisites for a sustainable economic development. Over years, the peacekeeping Mission’s presence has significantly contributed to the country’s economic recovery. In 2014, the DR Congo recorded a 9.2% GDP growth, which the third fastest growth rate in the world referring to the IMF. The growth rate is however a non-inclusive.

5. Anything you would like to add?

The iPAD DRC will bring together miners, investors, government officials, and representatives of the international organizations to discuss the DR Congo economic development. The country deserves such attention as it has progressively emerged on the regional and international economic scenes.