Lets Talk about DRC

International Council of Swedish Industry (NIR) arranges member events called “Lets Talk about…” where members of the International Council of Swedish Industry meet, inspire, discuss and solve sustainability matters.

One of the richest countries in natural resources, the DRC ( Democratic Republic of the Congo) is a force to be reckoned with. The DRC is the second largest in country in the continent. With 77 million inhabitants the DRC is the fourth most-populated nation in Africa after Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Egypt.

The DRC has had its fair share of political instability and still lack infrastructure. In January 2019, Félix Tshisekedi was sworn in as president after 18 years of Joseph Kabila’s presidency, with promises to tackle the many challenges including alleviating poverty and improving security and access to education, health and infrastructure.

On June 17th Ambassador Henric Råsbrant, Embassy of Sweden in Kinshasa and Mr. Djo Moupondo, local business leader, CEO at Sodeico Development and local entrepreneur shared their thoughts on the recent political and economic development and future perspectives with members of the International Council of Swedish Industry (NIR)

More recent highlights



lack of enabling environment for social dialogue at the workplace level, despite the provision of legislative acts that protect and promote workplace cooperation is a reoccuring issue  in Kenya. To implement good policy there must be a fertil ground.

Therefore SWP developed the UP!  project. Together with Swedish companies as an entry point, and with unions i South africa and Kenya. 

In Kenya SWP created the SWP UP! Programme targeting skills development of the union Shop Stewards from 18 companies in the Automotive sector in Kenya during 2021. As a result, the Stewards were able to use their skills to build trust and cooperation with management in new ways to avoid conflicts. 

A second cohort of training, in close cooperation with union AUKMW, takes place in 2022.

The training allows shop stewards to step out of their daily routines and understand their role and the purpose of their union, understand the labour market context, the laws that regulate relationships and the business itself. But on a human level, many shop stewards also highlighted that they feel respected as human beings, and that they have developed the skills to engage with supervisors and management and experience respect in professional relations. The experiences had deeply impressed them and helped to project the vision of dialogue and mutual respect and their own potential as a means to change workplaces.

The intervention of the SWP programme had a direct effect at the workplaces, where shop stewards listed several cases where they had managed to intervene and secure results in dialogue with management, avert crises or find solutions based on opportunities and the communication skills obtained during the SWP training. For the Amalgamated Metal Workers Unions in Kenya, the shop stewards pointed to how the training had enabled them to design their own strategies at the workplace in relation to supervisors and staff, and to achieve many concrete results.

Based on this shop steward upskilling, I feel confident that as a union we now have change ambassadors that will grow the industry, protect, and promote decent work principles for both the employer and the employees represented. And that disputes will be dealt with at the workplace level by though consultative dialogue.

Rose Omamo

General Secretary
Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers