French Week debriefing : deliberately B2B
Very positive overall assessment of the business meeting organised by the Franco-Congolese Chamber of Commerce from 12 to 15 June at the Pullman Hotel in Kinshasa, where M&B was a media partner. From the rise of the B2B character of the event, to a more corporate audience than in previous years and a very high level “start-up” day, this edition was obviously one of the most successful. Analysis.

The Franco-Congolese Chamber of Commerce and Industry once again showed its dynamism - and, incidentally, France’s interest in the DRC - during this very beautiful sixth edition of its French Week. No less than 5000 visitors, 10 conferences and workshops (for 25 speakers) and 50 exhibition stands provided a beautiful showcase for the liveliness of exchanges between France and the DRC. The challenge being, as Ambroise Tshiyoyo, President of the CCIFC, pointed out in his opening speech, to create win-win partnerships that would give “the opportunity for French industry to breathe new life into itself and, on the other hand, to enable the Congolese economy to become competitive through the appropriation of new technologies and the installation of the value chain”. The tone was set. 

As a result, the  theme of the ten or so high-profile conferences, namely “Diversification and transformation: a new economic impetus”, has become a bit of an advocacy for a Congolese ecosystem where everything remains to be done, enjoying tremendous assets, and where any informed French entrepreneur would do well to invest. Have you ever heard of it, you might say? Perhaps, but we must never forget that pedagogy through repetition works and that, in the end, it is rather true! 

More seriously, to take stock of these three days without mentioning the presence of Gregory Clémente would be nonsense. The CEO of Proparco, the arm of France’s multi-billion euro bilateral cooperation, was present and was particularly involved in B2B. According to a source close to the organisation, his visit to the DRC has convinced him to open a sub-regional office in Kinshasa very quickly.    

We also noted the clear increase in the quality of the stands, in the health sector for example, and in the public, composed of more decision-makers than curious people, as well as the incredible participation of start-ups in the day dedicated to them, and the multitude of projects identified on this occasion. To be repeated next year!

We remember that the event chose to leave the French Institute last year for the Pullman in order to strengthen the B2B side, at the expense of the festive and general public character. This second edition of the corporate version definitively confirmed this choice. However, there are two minor caveats to this. Indeed, the B2B application was reserved for exhibitors only, whereas it would have been much more relevant if it had put exhibitors and external investors in contact, and no business space had been provided. See you next year. 

On the festive side, and almost ritually, the Jazz Kiff Festival was as usual wrapped up with the event, despite the “everyone at home” that has prevailed for the past two years. An innovation this year to break this little fuss from the old couple, the Festival opened the ball at Le Pullman by offering a superb moment. 

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