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Title free and clear: Women win rights to their own land in Miti-Murhesa

Posted on Sep 14, 2020

Every day, in defiance of the law, Congolese women are driven away from land that rightfully belongs to them — sometimes by neighbors, often by their own families, and too often with impunity. “Women’s access to land remains an enormous challenge in Congolese society, particularly in the eastern DRC,” explains Me Aline Bahati, attorney and […]

Salomé Byenda, a woman wearing a bright yellow-and-purple dress and headscarf, addresses a crowd using a megaphone.

Friends, we have 🎉☕️🏆 news!

Posted on Aug 19, 2020

This is a big week for Eastern Congo Initiative. We’re officially announcing our acquisition of the Asili business model. Nespresso is releasing a new single-origin coffee grown exclusively by our partner co-ops in South Kivu. And the work we do with public and private partnerships is receiving a prestigious honor.

Seven women wearinng white aprons model beautiful fabric facemasks.

How the women of Un Jour Nouveau turned $500 in fabric into $50,000 in sales — and saved countless lives

Posted on May 19, 2020

Months ago, Un Jour Nouveau (UJN), a local community organization in the Congo, was planning to use $500 in capital from ECI to strengthen their dressmaking program, a social enterprise that helps women in North Kivu uplift their communities with training in business, leadership and in-demand skills. UJN planned to use half the money to set up a display of students’ handmade clothing at the 2020 Women Of Congo exhibition, and to use the other $250 to buy fabric and supplies. As the pandemic overtook their plans, the women’s entrepreneurial agility transformed that $500 grant into infinitely more.

News from ECI, February 2020

Posted on Feb 20, 2020

I am writing to you from Bukavu, where the year is off to a busy start. Congo has been going through an Ebola outbreak, but I am happy to say it seems to be under control. The new government of President Félix Tshisekedi is reaching out to the governments of Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi — a promising start to the healing of old wounds in our region. Meanwhile, we are expecting Monusco, the UN peacekeeping force in DRC, to step down their troop levels. We’re keeping an eye on the situation, which has the potential to affect the economy and security of some of our partners...

Assessing the Growth Potential of Eastern Congo’s Coffee and Cocoa Sectors

Posted on Mar 13, 2018

This piece first appeared on the Center for Strategic and International Studies website and accompanies a new report from CSIS and ECI examining challenges and opportunities in the DRC cocoa and coffee sectors.  Assessing the Growth Potential of Eastern Congo’s Coffee and Cocoa Sectors Richard Downie, CSIS March 8th, 2018 During the past decade, donors and […]

The Amani Festival gives center stage to Congolese entrepreneurs

Posted on Feb 23, 2018

The Amani Peace Festival began in 2013 when the notorious rebel group, M23, occupied the city of Goma in eastern Congo. Now in its fifth year, the festival is inspiring proof of Congolese resiliency. It’s also just a lot of fun.  A day of music and art, the Amani Festival attracts people from across Goma’s multi-ethnic […]

ECI and partners bring new hope to survivors of landmine-related violence in eastern Congo

Posted on Feb 02, 2018

(Photos by Gerry Kahashy, ECI) In the Lake Kivu/Virunga National Park region of eastern Congo, landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) are a constant danger to coffee workers and their families. Indiscriminate as to their victims, mines and ERW have killed thousands of Congolese civilians. Children, especially, have been affected, accounting for more than […]