Landscape analysis

The DRC does not have an integrated innovation system that could facilitate or accelerate innovation in the country. Without a developed public administration and without policies to improve the education system, the innovation landscape is unlikely to improve. Technological innovation remains blocked by the low budget of the country and by the issue of generalised corruption. In 2018, the Minister of Justice claimed that the country was annually losing US$14bn due to corruption. This, for example, is one of the causes of the slow implementation of the optic fiber, which is already used by several other neighboring countries. This situation does not allow the education system to function optimally and to train youth in ICTs. Nor does it allow the public administration to modernise and be competitive. The innovations that exist come from the creativity of young Congolese, supported by private companies such as banks and cellular telecommunications companies, in the development of several applications in the fields of health, education, research and development, employment, online training, etc. The new political party in power since December 30, 2018 has raised hopes, but the challenges to face remain in place.

Private companies have started to take initiative to address disparities involving women, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups who do not have means to obtain education. To address visible disparities, some cell phone companies such as Vodacom and Airtel have begun to support the training of girls in school and to teach adult women digital literacy. Others have developed support programmes for local projects, such as the installation of private communication booths, support for phone card resellers, etc. These initiatives should be capitalised by the government in order to become target points to address permanently through specific policies.