The FINANCIAL — Marking the third anniversary of the signing of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Africa Great Lakes Region, the first-ever Private Sector Investment Conference brought together over 500 high-level representatives from the private sector, Government, civil society and the United Nations on 24-25 February in Kinshasa.
The aim of the Conference was to strengthen economic cooperation, expand trade opportunities, and stimulate job creation in order to bring about long-term stability and peace in the region, according to Global Compact.
In the opening address, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon encouraged participants “to create an environment that ensures business operations and investments are responsible and sustainable, and predictable” noting that this is “an essential ingredient to long-term economic growth and building trust in societies”. The Secretary-General recognized the importance of the UN Global Compact’s Africa Strategy and urged business leaders to do business responsibly as a “win-win approach for the well-being of society and a company’s bottom-line”.
President Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo called on Member States of the Great Lakes Region and investors to face the challenges that are compromising their shared vision for the economic development of the region. The President highlighted the need for Governments to improve the investment climate that would facilitate new public-private partnerships and for investors to act responsibly respecting the rule of law.
Over the course of the Conference, participants focused on how to encourage investment and support sustainable development in the region. In a discussion on Promoting Responsible Business in the Great Lakes Region, organized by the UN Global Compact, business leaders and members of the investment community explored how responsible business, investment and sound public policy are central to achieving peace and stability.
In the closing address UN Special Envoy of the Secretary General for the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit, encouraged companies and investors to continue to seek investment opportunities in the region to that will encourage sustainable development and long-term stability.
The Conference was organized by the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General to the Great Lakes, International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo with support from the United Nations Global Compact.