Expert opinion: In DRC, fighting poverty should include more banking services

Jun 23, 2015

In this interview, consultant Christian Kazumba explains how adequate banking services and trust between economic actors and banks can help economic development.

The banking rate in the DRC is 4%, while the average in sub-Saharan Africa is between 10 and 12%. Over 95% of Congolese still do not have bank accounts. And the total amount of bank loans to the Congolese economy represents just 6% of GDP (three times less than the sub-Saharan average).

The under-banking in DRC is explained first by the structure of its population:

Its youth - almost half of the population are under 16;
Its low level of education - the illiteracy rate is between 25 and 30% according to UNESCO;
Its standard of living - 88% of the population are living on less than $1.25 a day and a human development index has it among the lowest in the world.

Nevertheless, since the end of conflicts and the macroeconomic stabilization since 2010, foreign investors and operators are interested in the country. And the global balance sheet of the banking sector has increased at 25% per annum.

Among the proposed solutions, a much lower pricing of banking services seems possible due to the current profitability of banks in the country. And, more generally, a more effective communication and financial education, by both banks and the government, would be appropriate; as well as the generalization of banking payroll.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801791857-ADNFCR