Blog

UPDATE! The Lake Kivu Coffee Alliance chosen as a finalist in the P3 Impact Awards

Posted on Apr 26, 2018

UPDATE! On July 23rd the Lake Kivu Coffee Alliance was chosen as a finalist in the P3 Impact Awards. Click here to read the article from the US Department of State’s website. The Lake Kivu Coffee Alliance: Helping farmers in eastern DRC regain lost ground In 2013, while fleeing fighting between DRC government forces and […]

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 […]

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 […]