from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA – VODACOM Congo has expressed its support to an employment creation drive by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), dubbed the “1Million de PME” programme.
It translates to “1 million SMEs” and has a target of creating 8 million jobs through this sector.
This week, Vodacom was a participant at the 2023 edition of the “1Million de PME” event, organised by the government.
The event, focused on Congolese entrepreneurship, brought together key stakeholders, contributors in the economic and industrial sectors of the DRC, to address the challenges and opportunities faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the vast country.
Khalil Al Americani, Chief Executive Officer of Vodacom Congo, participated as a panelist in the discussion on “Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Financing.”
It particularly focused on “The Impact of Telecommunications on Digitised SME Management.”
Vodacom Congo said his participation highlighted the company’s commitment to supporting local entrepreneurship by offering innovative telecommunication solutions tailored to the specific needs of the Congolese market.
This includes services such as M-pesa, which promotes financial inclusion in the country through its application, open application programme interface (APIs) and mass payments.
These platforms facilitate the dematerialisation of payments and develop e-commerce in the DRC.
The “1Million de PME” is a vision shared by the government of President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, spearheaded by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EPME).
“This initiative aims to catalyze economic development by encouraging the emergence and growth of SMEs, which are essential engines for job creation and economic prosperity,” Al Americani said.
The executive has urged SMEs to embrace ongoing innovation in the telecommunications sector to remain competitive in an ever-evolving business landscape.
“Faced with a slowdown in growth, SMEs should proactively explore new technologies and venture into new markets to maintain their momentum.”
Vodacom Congo, which has been in operation in DRC for 21 years, provides communication services, including voice, messaging, internet, electronic money and converged services to over 21 million customers locally.
– CAJ News