Human Capital and Labour Report Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo, also referred to as the DR Congo, Congo-Kinshasa and the DRC, is situated in central Africa. The country borders the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan to the north, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the east, Zambia and Angola to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It is the second largest country in Africa and the 11th largest in the world, covering an area of 2,345,409 km2 (905,355 mi2). With a population of over 67 million people, the DRC is the most populous official Francophone country, the fourth most populous country in Africa and the 19th most populous country in the world. After a decade of economic contraction due to political instability and conflict, economic growth in the DRC had advanced to 8.9% in 2014. This was as a result of the increase prices of their key export products, particularly copper and cobalt. The DRC also has as rapidly growing young population which is expected to increase by 106% by 2035. The DRC’s young, growing population is a huge asset to the country, as it creates a large talent pool and workforce with great human capital potential which can help to contribute to economic growth and development in the country. Education has made massive improvements since the end of the civil war and promises to create a better-skilled labour force. Despite impressive economic growth, poverty in the DRC is rampant with high poverty levels. The protracted conflict in the DRC has had a devastating effect on important infrastructure like education and healthcare in the country, with many children forced to abandon their education resulting in entire generations being unskilled and unemployable; as well as a critical lack of sufficient and quality healthcare resources and services. Malaria also continues to be a serious challenge for the labour force in the DRC as 97% of the population live in malaria areas.

This country analysis focuses on broad human capital indicators including:

  • Country profile, including a brief overview of the country; corruption and governance indicators; and the business culture.
  • Economic indicators, including an overview of the economy; largest companies; foreign aid and foreign investment.
  • Socio-demographic indicators, including population parameters, standard of living and poverty measures.
  • Healthcare and wellness: The focus here is on the impact of Tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS and malaria on the workforce and workplace; the availability of specialist healthcare and also primary and secondary healthcare.
  • Education trends, including the education level of the population and workforce; education standards and output; as well as the training and skills development framework.
  • Labour force, including the economically active population; job creation; employment sectors; skills shortages; employment of expatriates; brain drain; industrial relations; professional human resource management and more.

Throughout the research, implications, challenges and recommendations are offered to employers, policy makers, donors, investors and the human resource management fraternity. This is all done within the context of the DRC's socio-economic realities.

Where appropriate, comparisons were made against South Africa and Nigeria. Nigeria was selected because it is the largest economy in Africa; South Africa for being the second largest economy and most modern economy in Africa. The data of these countries are used to provide context and perspective.

The country analysis refers only briefly to the DRC's economy, political situation or general risk factors. There are dozens of platforms, reports, research and publications available in that regard for those who wish to apprise themselves of information relating to those areas.

The research is unique by its predominant focus on the DRC's labour force.


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