Mining and Business: Me. KISOLOKELE, what is the GUCE in the DRC and what are its medium-term objectives?
Ms Kisolokele Mvete: The One-Stop Shop for Business Start-up (GUCE) is the government service set up by the Government of the Republic in 2013 in its drive to improve the business climate in the country, with the fundamental mission of facilitating the process of business creation in the DRC. Thanks to this unique centre which brings together all the government departments involved in the process, all the formalities for setting up a business can be swiftly completed in one place. For a natural person (establishment), setup is within a maximum of 3 working days at a reduced cost of the equivalent of 40 USD in Congolese francs and 120 USD for a legal entity or company. Everything now takes place under the guaranteed conditions of speed and transparency necessary for a sound investment climate.
The primary objective of the GUCE is to simplify the business start-up process further. We work to reduce the creation time to a maximum of 1 or 2 days because strategies are in place to achieve this. An example of this would be the IT systems networking services involved in the business creation process.
At the same time, we are working to extend this reform throughout the DRC and thus increase the presence of the GUCE in the provinces through a gradual deployment of branches within the country. A first provincial branch has already been set up in Lubumbashi, and others will soon be set up in Kisangani, Matadi, Bukavu, Goma and so on until the entire national territory is fully covered.
In addition, thanks to the computerization of the Trade and Personal Property Credit Register (RCCM), we are consolidating the establishment of the National Register or File in order to allow the transmission of registration data to the RCCM at the level of the regional file of the Organisation for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).
MBM: What does this mean in practice for companies?
Mrs KV: What changes for companies is the facilitation that they could not have had before. It is this new framework that allows them to formalise their commercial activities or regularise the changes made to them using additional registrations under simple, favourable and rapid conditions.
Among the initiatives of this facilitation, I can cite the installation of an advanced window of a commercial bank within the GUCE in order to save economic operators from having to travel to pay administrative costs; the creation of a website offering various information and models of the statutes and, more recently, a computer application called e-guce, which allows any economic operator who has submitted a request for the creation of a business to follow the progress of the processing of his file from his computer, tablet or Smartphone. It is indeed a real revolution in this field.
The GUCE is thus an essential link in the chain of the business climate because as it intervenes from the outset, i.e. from the first step of entrepreneurship. It undoubtedly favours the development of private sector activities and, in turn, job creation.
MBM: GUCE opened its branch in Lubumbashi in 2017. What message do you have for economic operators in the Province of Upper Katanga? As "woman's month" has been, what advice do you have for women?
Mrs KV: My message is simple: it is to invite all economic operators in Lubumbashi to experiment with GUCE. It is then that they will understand the facilitation of business creation is within their reach. A new era has thus taken hold, and it is good that everyone can benefit from it. Those who move into the informal sector no longer have any reason to remain there, as the formalisation of their activities is now simple and straightforward.
In the same vein, I invite women entrepreneurs in Lubumbashi to continue working for the development of our country by confirming their status as development actors which involves formalising their income-generating activities. The GUCE wants to be their ally in this approach, as it is ready for the future.