ARISE IIP signed an agreement with Congo to develop wood processing zone

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ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP), developer and operator of world-class industrial ecosystems in Africa, announces, in partnership with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the signing of a framework agreement for the development of the Kin-Malebo industrial zone. This ambitious agreement will contribute to the industrialization of strategic sectors in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Under the agreement, ARISE IIP will invest USD 200 million in the development of the Kin-Malebo industrial zone. The project is a public-private partnership between ARISE IIP and the Democratic Republic of Congo, each will hold a stake of 60% and 40% in the asset, respectively. Located 40 km from Kinshasa and 10 km from the international airport, the zone will create nearly 20,000 direct and indirect jobs and aims to attract an estimated $850 million in multi-sectoral and commercial investment to the country. Construction will begin in October 2022 and the zone is expected to be fully operational by September 2023.

The industrial zone will cover an area of 514 hectares in phase 1, and will focus on wood processing, poultry processing, and beverage production for the local market. The zone will also host companies specializing in the pharmaceutical sector, plastic recycling, household appliances, electric vehicles, and other processing industries.

Julien Paluku Kahongya, Minister of Industry of the Democratic Republic of Congo, announced: "The signing of this ambitious agreement is another example of how attractive the economy of the Democratic Republic of Congo is and how we are working to increase its competitiveness. ARISE IIP, our trusted partner in this project, has a proven track record of delivering large-scale projects across Africa, with a strong focus on local processing of raw materials. We are confident in their ability to develop a competitive and sustainable economic zone that will generate added value for our economy, our natural resources, and thousands of jobs for our youth.”

Ève Bazaiba Masudi, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Democratic Republic of Congo, explained that: "Since 2002, the Democratic Republic of Congo has put in place a moratorium on industrial logging to ensure the conservation of the tropical forest, the second largest on the planet. Today, we are determined to continue our efforts by relying on our partner ARISE IIP, which has developed cutting-edge expertise in the sustainable management of forest resources in Africa, particularly in terms of traceability, legality, and sustainability of wood."

Jean-Claude Kabongo, Special Advisor to the Presidency of the Democratic Republic of Congo said: "We are delighted to partner with ARISE IIP to develop and exploit the Kin-Malebo economic zone. Soon to be equipped with large-scale industrial infrastructure, this zone will become a strategic center for developing trade and investment within the Democratic Republic of Congo."

Gagan Gupta, Founder and CEO of ARISE IIP also commented: "The ARISE IIP teams are very proud to be able to support the authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the development of this ambitious industrial infrastructure. By leveraging our experience in the design and management of industrial estates and the sustainable management of natural resources, we aim to contribute to making the Democratic Republic of Congo a regional leader in the responsible processing of raw materials."

Samaila Zubairu, Managing Director of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) also welcomed the signing: "We are thrilled with this exciting project in DRC. It echoes the DNA of AFC which is to participate strategically in infrastructure development that fully understands the needs of the country. It also corroborates AFC's efforts to support African countries in increasing their industrial facilities.”

For the past few years, ARISE IIP experienced a remarkable expansion across Africa, with currently 12 integrated industrial zones accelerating the continent’s industrialisation. For reference, in Gabon ARISE IIP manages the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ), focused on the timber industry, which created 16,000 jobs, attracted 120 investors and has enabled Gabon to move from being an exporter of logs to the world's 2nd largest producer and exporter of veneer and the first in Africa. Across the continent, ARISE IIP’s primary focus has always been the creation of industrial ecosystems committed to generating high local added value along with sustainable growth. 

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