ECI News

ECI at the UN

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Dear friends,

It has been a busy and productive fall for all of us at ECI! On September 19th, we held our Annual Congo Briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. We brought together leaders from the US government, the UN, the private sector, and foundations, for a morning of education and inspiration. At this event, it was announced that ECI was chosen for a significant new multi-year grant to work in the coffee sector and to help survivors of mine violence in eastern Congo.

In Goma, ECI’s team co-hosted a conference that brings together women working in the Congolese coffee sector. It was an incredible opportunity to discuss the challenges and triumphs of women in the sector and plan for the future.

Speaking of women in coffee, ECI’s work made the news this month! Time Magazine and The New York Times profiled Linda Mugaruka, the first female certified Q Grader (a person who is certified to judge the quality of coffee) from Congo. ECI has supported her training, and we couldn’t be more proud of the progress she’s made as a representative for women in coffee in Congo.

As always, thank you for your support of our work. Congo is facing significant challenges right now with political uncertainty. But progress is still being made toward our mission of economic empowerment thanks to our partners, hard work, and you.

Dane Erickson
Managing Director, ECI

ECI in the News

Last month, ECI co-founders Ben Affleck and Whitney Williams were interviewed by ASPIREist TV. This piece gives a detailed and thoughtful look at the origins of ECI, the current state of Congo, and ECI’s work in the cocoa and coffee value chains.

News from Congo

“We just need to get as much volume as possible of Congolese coffees into the world market,” Mr. Nicolaides said. “We need to deliver it at a competitive price so that we can compete with our neighboring countries.”

If anything can pull the Democratic Republic of Congo out of its economic slump, it might be high-end coffee. After all, eastern Congo was one of the world’s biggest producers of coffee before war decimated the plantations. But it takes more than new seedlings to grow an industry; professional tasters are needed to help growers and producers make the best out of their beans.

The Guardian: The ‘rape capital of the world’? We women in Congo don’t see it that way
Congo is a nation of sisterhood and solidarity. We are changing our country from within, risking our lives to speak out and taking up the political fight against sexual violence – rather than just taking notes while men speak

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