Blog

New York Times Opinion: Ben Affleck reflects on his engagement in Congo

Posted on Dec 19, 2017

(This article was printed in the New York Times Opinion section on December 4th, 2017)  When I first visited eastern Congo in 2006, it was difficult to understand how anyone could be hopeful about the region’s future. The Congolese had just emerged from a decade of some of the worst violence the world had known […]

Coffee: Providing an Economic Jolt to Eastern Congo?

Posted on Dec 05, 2017

This post is from Richard Downie at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Can the once-thriving coffee sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) be revived? An increasing number of players seem to think so, including donors, coffee companies, the Congolese government, and many thousands of farmers. Their initial investments, centered on the […]

Meet the coffee farming families supported by ECI

Posted on Nov 01, 2017

In rural communities in eastern DRC, coffee farming provides an essential source of income for tens of thousands of people. ECI assists farmers access international markets and provides technical assistance to coffee cooperatives. Click here to meet Jean, a coffee farmer at an ECI-supported cooperative, as he explains the challenges of coffee farming in the […]

ECI’s Dane Erickson speaks to the Brookings Institute on DRC elections & prospects for peace

Posted on Sep 15, 2017

On April 10th, ECI’s Managing Director Dane Erickson spoke on a panel discussion at The Brookings Institution with Michael O’Hanlon on April 10, 2017.  The panel discussed current security, political, and economic challenges in DRC, and what potential future scenarios might look like. Below is an excerpt from Brookings on this important panel discussion. To listen to […]

How YOU can support the Congolese people

Posted on Sep 11, 2017

The Congolese are hard at work creating a peaceful and prosperous nation – and you can help! From Congolese community-based organizations to an emerging coffee and cocoa sector, below are a few excellent ways to lend a hand to this deserving nation.   Eat chocolate, drink coffee, support Congolese farmers! Congolese farmers have fertile land […]

Ben Affleck reflects on his tenth trip to Congo.

Posted on Sep 01, 2017

(Ben Affleck recently returned from a week long visit to eastern Congo. This was his tenth trip to the region. Sign up to the ECI newsletter for more updates.) Just back home from a listening and learning trip throughout rural eastern Congo. Seven years ago, I founded Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), a grant making and advocacy […]

From Starbucks Newsroom: Congo coffee returns to 1700 Starbucks locations this summer!

Posted on Aug 01, 2017

This post originally appeared in the Starbucks Newsroom. ECI is incredibly proud to see coffee from Congo come to 1700 Starbucks stores (and online) this summer!  By Heidi Peiper / Starbucks Newsroom When green coffee arrives in burlap bags each day for roasting at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle, they have already traveled thousands […]

Meet ECI’s Congolese Partners for Progress

Posted on Jul 24, 2017

At ECI, we believe a robust and stable civil society is the bedrock of social and economic progress. In practice that means we support a wide range of Congolese organizations providing essential services to the citizens of Congo. From social justice to education to journalism, below are just a few of our brave and hardworking […]

ECI and BanQu Connect Congolese Farmers to Blockchain Technology

Posted on Jun 02, 2017

Eastern Congo Initiative and BanQu are proud to announce an innovative pilot program to fundamentally improve the lives of farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Currently in the DRC, most farmers have no access to banking services, no reliable information about their productivity and harvests, no access to reliable and trackable economic information, […]

Kelly Goodejohn On How Starbucks Ethically Invests in Congolese Coffee

Posted on May 10, 2017

How can for-profit, private companies ensure ethical souring of their products? Kelly Goodejohn, Director of Ethical Sourcing, Global Social Impact & Public Policy for Starbucks addressed this question last week before The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in a hearing titled “Value Added Through Private Sector Engagement”. While outlining Starbucks’ policy of 100% ethically sourced coffee, Ms. Goodejohn […]