Today, DRC is rated as one of the most difficult places to start and run a business in the world, and Congo Initiative (CI) is responding to this challenging business environment through its Wakisha program. Meaning “ignite” in Swahili, Wakisha is a business accelerator catalyzing a culture of entrepreneurship and Kingdom-minded business leadership in Beni.
Ultimately, Wakisha aims to foster a space for young entrepreneurs to develop business-led solutions that result in new relationships, meaningful work, and thriving communities in DRC.
Kivu Green Energy is one of the local businesses participating in Wakisha. This fall, Kyle provided support to Kivu Green Energy, a Beni-based renewable energy company started by CI staff and UCBC alumni.
In Beni and throughout DRC, there exists a chronic lack of accessible, reliable, and affordable electricity. Less than 20% of DRC households have access to electricity. Additionally, electricity is essential to accelerate DRC’s economic development, empower organizations providing health care and education, reduce charcoal use and prevent future deforestation, and to improve DRC’s security context. KGE is addressing this social need and unmet market demand through providing solar power and excellent customer service to off-grid Congolese households, businesses and organizations.
In June 2017, KGE installed a solar power micro-grid in Beni which now provides more than 250 customers with electricity. This year, KGE plans to secure investments to scale towards a goal of providing solar electricity to more communities throughout eastern DRC.
Pray that KGE would continue to find favor among DRC’s authorities and that KGE would be able to identify the necessary relationships and resources to scale the business and turn more lights on in eastern Congo.
*After several years of dedicated ministry (and since this article was written), the Hamiltons have completed their work with Congo Initiative and returned to the US.