The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has some of the greatest mineral wealth in the world and a large and growing population, yet the country still struggles with economic growth. With numerous challenges ranging from the need to absorb an urbanizing population, improve its economy, and promote security, the DRC is in a position where it has far more to gain from policy experiments than it has to lose.

This research was a collaboration between several CCI team members, including Kurtis Lockhart, Dr. Mark Lutter, Carl Peterson, and Julian Mukiibi.

1. The government of the DRC should explore the economic advantages of creating a charter city structure for designated areas in the southern DRC, evaluate whether this would be suitable in the local context, and engage with local stakeholders to assess the feasibility of this proposal.

2. The DRC’s government should enable the Charter Cities Institute (CCI) to create a comprehensive economic development strategy for moving the DRC’s economy up the value chain through mineral processing in the DRC and the central Africa region, including the possibility of establishing one or more charter cities in southern DRC.

3. Should the DRC choose to pursue the charter city option, the next steps are:

a. To create an enabling legislative and regulatory framework that allows for charter city autonomous jurisdictions

b. Start building a political coalition that advances the charter city project

c. Assemble stakeholders to delineate the scope of potential reforms in more detail

d. Contact the Charter Cities Institute for assistance.

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