ECI News

Happy New Year from ECI


Happy New Year from ECI! 

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Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! I can’t thank you enough for standing with ECI as we work to support our Congolese partners. Your help allows us to bring innovative opportunities to eastern Congo, and I’m proud to share the latest updates with you in this monthly newsletter.

2016 was a banner year for ECI. Our on-the-ground partners worked to strengthen civil society in the region by providing healthcare, access to legal aid for survivors of sexual violence, education, and so much more. 

In 2016, ECI also continued to invest in the renewal of eastern Congo’s agricultural sector, particularly in coffee and cocoa. By investing in farmer’s capacity and by connecting them to markets, ECI helped triple the income of nearly 5,000 farmers! 

In 2017 we are scaling this success and continuing to invest in local organizations by introducing The Congo Farmer Trust – a new initiative that we hope will transform the lives of more than 150,000 people and invest in sustainable economic growth.

Keep reading below for more highlights from last year and thank you again for your support!

Dane Erickson

Managing Director, ECI

2016 Highlights

At the Clinton Global Initiative in September, ECI founder Ben Affleck, along with Chouchou Namegabe of ECI parnter Afem radio, announced the Congo Farmer Trust (CFT) – a $12.5 million dollar investment into the agricultural sector of the region. The idea is simple: Congolese-owned and operated farms sell their coffee and cocoa to forward-thinking companies like Starbucks Coffee and Theo Chocolate. This model is effective – ECI is ready to scale this success in 2017.
In October the Wall Street Journal produced a long-form piece on the re-emerging coffee sector in eastern Congo. ECI is proud to have collaborated on the piece and to have been recognized as helping the Congolese bring their incredible coffee to the markets of the world.

Congratulations to ECI partner Dr. Denis Mukwege for his Nobel Peace Prize Nomination. Dr. Mukwege, through his work with the Panzi Hospital, has helped thousands of women in DRC overcome the terrible burden of sexual violence. He is a shining example of how the Congolese are working to better their country. 
ECI Managing Director Dane Erickson recently spoke with former World Food Program Executive Director Catherine Bertini and former US Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman at a panel session focusing on global food policy. Dane emphasized the enormous potential for agricultural to transform eastern Congo.

Meet the latest additions to the ECI team

Baraka Kasali
We are thrilled to promote Baraka to the Head of Office in Goma. Baraka has been leading our programs in Goma over the last several years.

Alphonsine Mbela
Working under Baraka Kasali, Alphonsine is ECI’s new Deputy in Charge of Operations. Her knowledge and experience is critical to our work in the region. 

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