Why we work in Kinshasa

A while back, CNN ran a very in-depth piece by Michael O’Hanlon on the upcoming elections in the Congo. In all of these articles, the challenges of engaging more rural areas of Congo are addressed. CLI, consequently, is often asked why we choose to focus in Kinshasa and not some of the places that so desperately need even the most basic infrastructure. It’s a fair question, and in the interest of being transparent, we gladly share our reasoning below.

The Congo has several issues to address not just for its upcoming elections, but for its development in general. There is no question that these issues are often more acute far away from the capital of Kinshasa and so would likely benefit from our attention more in the near term. Nevertheless, Kinshasa is still the capital and power center. To change the behavior of leaders, there is no better place to start. CLI is most interested in systemic change that creates long-term returns. That is why, although we plan to work in other parts of the Congo eventually, we are currently based in Kinshasa.

What do you think? Should we alter our strategy? Where do you believe solutions lie in the Congo?

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