Promoting Youth Employment in Kinshasa

Capacity Building

Kinshasa – Millions of young people in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) live in precarious situations, often forced to leave the country because of the lack of stable jobs. 

Brunelle Maluka was one of 40 recipients of small business funding from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in June after having been selected and trained as part of a project to promote youth employment. 

Brunelle built a brick company, selling her product to construction projects. Her successful business has expanded to hire six laborers. 

"My business is evolving so well, that I could open a cement store, thanks to the profits I made,” said Brunelle, who dropped out of a university she could not afford. “It is a small business where I sell bags of cements and raw materials that are used for manufacturing bricks.” 

Seventy-five young people, including five returnees from Switzerland, also received financial support through the first phase of the same Swiss-funded project that targets disadvantaged youth in the capital. 

According to Kinshasa's Social Affairs Division chief, Franklin Kinsweme Bilenga, 70 per cent of Kinshasa’s 15 million inhabitants are under the age of 18. The lack of employment leads to increased criminality and irregular migration, the government says. 

It is in this context that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) offers financial support to young people like Brunelle from disadvantaged backgrounds to launch small businesses and create jobs.  

Since 2005, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been taking actions against irregular migration from the DRC by implementing, with the support of donors, prevention projects against irregular migration and its risks, by financing hundreds of income-generating activities, mainly in the city of Kinshasa.  

During his address on the occasion of the presentation of the activities carried out as part of the implementation of this second phase, on Friday 8 November in Kinshasa, Ambassador of Switzerland to the DRC Mr Roger Denser congratulated the beneficiaries and called on the city to support this project "by exempting for one year or more the 40 beneficiaries the levies and taxes imposed on small businesses operating in the city.” 

 “I was very touched by the testimonies I heard. I hope that this project will multiply with the efforts of all the actors involved in this project,” he said.  

For more information, please contact Daco Tambilika at IOM DRC, Email: 

  • Brunelle Maluka is one of 40 recipients of IOM funding last June for the creation of small businesses. Her brick company now employs six people.   Photo: IOM