First stage of the project expected to produce 13.8 megawatts for DRC and the region

GOMA—President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila on Wednesday,
December 16 attended the inauguration of a new hydroelectric plant in the North Kivu
province, which is expected to bring 13.8 megawatts of power to the DRC and surrounding
region. The ceremony was also attended by the Minister of State for Decentralization, Solomon
Banamuhere, the Minister of Finance, Henry Mulang Yav, the Minister of Environment, Robert
Bokpolo, the Minister of Agriculture, Mota Dongo, the Minister of Energy and Water Resources,
Jeannot Matadi Nenga, the Minister of Tourism Elvis Muntiri Wa Bashara, and Ambassadors
and other dignitaries.

“This plant will help the DRC increase and stabilize the supply of electrical power across the
country, support thousands of jobs locally for Congolese workers, help boost the economy with
critical infrastructure development, and reduce interference on the natural resources of
Virunga National Park,” said Minister of Finance Henri Yav Mulang. “It is a great example of the
power of civil society, government institutions and foreign investment coming together to
create sustainable change for our communities today and for future generations.”
The new facility is the first of a regional investment program led by the Congolese Institute for
Nature Conservation (ICCN), a government agency that serves as the DRC’s national parks
authority, and the Virunga Foundation, a British charity working in North Kivu, with $19.7
million in funding support from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The foundation has also
pledged an additional $39 million towards the cost of two more hydroelectric plants, with the
Belgian government providing $4 million. Over the next six years, the Virunga Foundation aims
to build seven such plants as well as hotels, vocational schools and other infrastructure projects
in and around the park.

“We applaud the ICCN for its leadership and vision on this long-term
program,” Minister Yav noted, “and appreciate the generosity of our partners in making this
important milestone possible. We are delighted that energy sector reforms are culminating into
such a promising growth stimulation initiative. The DRC is open for business and this publicprivate
partnership is an excellent proof of concept for global investors.”
Minister Yav also announced that he signed an agreement in Rumangabo with the European
Union Ambassador to the DRC, which is a 120 million Euro financing program to be disbursed
over four years. The financing will fund environmental and sustainable agriculture initiatives,
including funding for the four national parks and endangered species conservation efforts, farm
land identification programs, rural road networks improvement and planning, and identification
of hydropower generation sites for rural electrification.

Over the past two decades, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation has invested over $200 million in
long-term development projects throughout Africa's Great Lakes region, creating food and
water security, and enhancing public safety and conservation efforts. According to Bloomberg,
the DRC and Rwanda top the list of countries where philanthropist Howard Buffett intends to spend a total of more than $700 million during the next decade.

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