Canada - Democratic Republic of Congo Relations

Diplomatic Relations

In the difficult context prevailing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Canada’s actions in the DRC aim primarily at encouraging a peaceful and democratic transition as well as respect for human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. 

Canada contributes to the development of the DRC through its program of international aid and humanitarian assistance. Through its support to the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, Canada contributes to national and international efforts to ensure the establishment of a lasting peace in the DRC, particularly in the East of the country. Overall, Canada remains committed in the DRC through diplomatic, international aid, humanitarian and security channels.

Canada in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In the DRC, Canada is represented by the Canadian Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The first Canadian ambassador was accredited in the DRC in 1962 and the embassy in Kinshasa opened its doors in 1965. The Embassy was closed from 1993 to 1997 to protest against human rights abuses by the Mobutu regime.

Democratic Republic of Congo in Canada

The Democratic Republic of Congo has been represented in Canada by an embassy in Ottawa since 1965.

Common Memberships

Both countries collaborate in multilateral fora such as the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, and the United Nations.

Trade and Investments

Trade Relations

Canadian mining investments in the DRC are important.The business environment poses serious challenges to Canadian companies.

Trade relations between Canada and the DRC are modest. In 2017, bilateral trade amounted to approximately $ 54.6 million. Canadian exports to the DRC totalled $ 13,6 million, composed mainly of textiles, machinery and motor vehicles. Canadian merchandise imports from the DRC comprise mainly of cocoa, wood, precious stones and metals totaling near $ 41 million.

Trade Agreements

There is currently no trade agreement between both countries.

Congolese Students in Canada

In 2017, there were 985 Congolese studying in Canada.

Development and Humanitarian Assistance

Canada has a development program in the DRC that prioritizes sexual and reproductive health and respect for the rights of women and girls, the protection of children and youth, and support for good governance. Canada is also supporting the fight against impunity for sexual and gender-based violence in order to challenge harmful and discriminatory social practices and provide assistance to thousands of women who have been victims of sexual violence. An important portion of Canadian international aid is delivered in the form of humanitarian assistance to populations affected by the conflicts in the DRC. Minister for International Development and La Francophonie, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, visited the DRC in July 2017.

Overall, Canada has contributed nearly $ 92 million (2016-2017) in international aid to the DRC, including more than $ 26 million in humanitarian assistance. The DRC ranks 13th among countries receiving Canadian international aid.

For more information on development projects with the DRC, see the Project Browser.

Canada funds local projects through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), managed by the Embassy of Canada in Kinshasa, and also awards scholarships through the Canadian Francophonie Scholarships Program.

Security

Canada is concerned about the persistence of human rights violations in the DRC, including acts of sexual violence, and by the renewed conflicts and intensifying violence throughout the country. The DRC hosts the largest UN peacekeeping mission worldwide, MONUSCO, in terms of authorized deployment and operational budget. In March 2018, the United Nations Security Council extended MONUSCO’s mandate (resolution 2409) until March 2019. Protection of civilians, support for the implementation of the DRC agreement of 31 December 2016 and the electoral process remain strategic priorities of the mission, as in the previous mandate. In addition, given the electoral context, new elements have been added following a comprehensive approach to protect civilians, such as the protection of peaceful protesters. The mandate also focuses on Civil and political rights and the promotion of human rights and mediation efforts. The Security Council has also maintained the prior approval to extend the mission’s operations area to cover the entire country.

Since 1999, Canada has provided more than $ 300 million in assessed contributions to MONUSCO. There are currently eight officers from the Canadian Armed Forces deployed to MONUSCO, which have strategic roles of leadership, planning and liaison operations.

Other Relevant Information

 

November 2018