NewsThe 2023 Annual Review of the DRC-CAFI Partnership confirms its strength and achievements

CAFI News picture 17 April 2024

17 April 2024 - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - Chaired by the Minister of Finance and co-chaired by the Minister of State, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, in the presence of ambassadors from CAFI donor countries and the United Nations Resident Coordinator, the 2023 Annual Review of the partnership between the DRC and CAFI took place last month on 15 March (technical segment) and 18 March (political segment) in Kinshasa. 

6 key results in 2023, majority of 2021-22 milestones achieved or in progress 

In accordance with the Letter of Intent signed between the Government of the DRC and CAFI in 2021, an annual review of the partnership is organized each year to assess the progress made in terms of the commitments made by the parties. 

To feed these discussions, a report on the 2023 Annual Review was presented and discussed by the signatory parties, in the presence of representatives of sectoral ministries and civil society, in order to make recommendations on the achievement of milestones, the programming of investments and the restructuring of the National REDD Fund (FONAREDD) designated as the channel for mobilizing CAFI resources for the country. 

This 2023 Annual Review report was validated in June 2024, and is also available on the FONAREDD website.

The 2023 Review also validated the 2021-2022 Milestone Monitoring Report, published on the CAFI and FONAREDD websites. 

These reports notably highlighted six key results in 2023, and that a majority of milestones set for 2021-22 have been achieved or are in progress.

High levels of achievements of time-bound milestones  

The Letter of Intent specifies the year by which each milestone is expected to be achieved.  

As stated in the DRC-CAFI 2021-2022 Milestones Monitoring Report, "as of 31 December 2023, 81% of the 21 2021-2022 milestones assessed have been achieved or are in progress, of which 52% of milestones were achieved."  

Two major milestones set for 2023 (the Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) and 2024 (revision of the decree on the composition and functioning of the CCNF and its operationalization) were achieved in 2022 and 2023 respectively. 

The 2023 Annual Review report also notes that overall, 50% of the 2021-2022-2023 milestones had been achieved or were in progress by 31 March 2024. 

For some sectors (agriculture, forestry, mining and hydrocarbons, governance), delays observed in reaching certain milestones have been due to the implementation of programming and/or the availability of funding. Recommendations for each sectoral pillar were presented and discussed at the technical and political segments of the 2023 Annual Review, with a view to finalizing the 2023 Annual Review Report and its set of recommendations by the end of April 2024. The 2023 Annual Review report will be posted on this page once finalized.  

Flagship results across key sectors 

Six "flagship" results of the partnership were highlighted:  

1.  Energy: 7% reduction in charcoal consumption in Kinshasa, 3% in Goma and 4% in Bukavu between 2020 and 2023. 

2.  Three sectoral policies validated since the signature of the 2021 Letter of Intent. That include the protection of high-value forests and peatlands:  

3. Transparency in the forestry sector:publication of the final report of the Inter-ministerial Forest Titles Review Commission on 5 March 2024. 

4. Transparency in the extractive sector: publication of mining contracts and oil titles by the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). 

5. Adoption of the National Strategic Family Planning Plan in April 2022. 

6.  Climate finance: Publication on 15 September 2023 of a joint decree by the ministries in charge of finance and the environment on the sharing of profits (government share) from the sale of carbon credits. 

A growing portfolio of projects 

Progress in terms of investment programming was noted, with $135 million towards new and renewed projects approved in 2023, notably for projects that are priorities for the DRC Government, aiming to:  

  • Support sustainable agriculture in support to the Local Development Programme in the DRC’s 145 territories  (Programme d'appui à l'agriculture durable - PDL 145 Territoires) 
  • Support 6 sectorial ministries, the EITI and the Congolese Environmental Authority to achieve the milestones of the Letter of Intent (Programme d'appui à l'atteinte des jalons en appui à 6 ministères sectoriels, l'ITIE et l'ACE) 
  • Scale up Payment for Environmental Services   
  • Support Carbon Finance  
  • Support and implement the land tenure reform (Phase 2 of this project
  • Support rural development through multi-sectorial REDD+ programs (“PIREDD”) in the provinces of Equateur, Kasai Oriental and Lomami, and Plateaux district of the Mai Ndombe province 
  • Implement the National Family Planning Strategy (Phase 2 of this project
A high-level political segment sets the direction forward 

The political segment, closing the Partnership's 2023 annual review, was held on Monday 18 March 2024, under the joint chairmanship of H.E. Finance Minister Nicolas Kazadi and H.E. Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Eve Bazaiba Masudi. National counterparts were represented by the Secretaries General of Agriculture, Land Management, Environment and Sustainable Development, Planning and several Advisors and Directors of Cabinets. 

CAFI's Executive Board was also strongly represented, through H.E. the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the DRC, Ms. Alyson King, for the CAFI Chairmanship, H.E. the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway, Mr. Odd Mølster, H.E. the Ambassador of Germany, Mr. Ingo Herbert, H.E. the Ambassador of the United States, Lucy Tamlin, several Heads of Development Cooperation from Belgium, the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Sweden and France. The United Nations was represented by Bruno Lemarquis, UN Resident Coordinator in the DRC, and Damien Mama, UNDP Resident Representative in the DRC. The review was also attended by representatives of the implementing agencies, including Sophie Reich, Deputy Director of the Agence Française de Développement, and the Franco-Gabonese CBFP facilitation team. 

In his conclusions, H.E. Nicolas Kazadi, Minister of Finance, noted that : "Despite the work still to be done, we can mutually congratulate ourselves on the major advances made by this partnership: national land and sustainable agriculture policies approved by the Council of Ministers, and the National Energy Policy awaited by the Council of Ministers...". He also stressed the need to reflect on how to improve the performance of certain projects in 2024. 

H.E. Eve Bazaiba, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development added: "The country can see that the partnership is moving forward, with the forestry pillar remaining central to the Partnership. Progress is also being made on certain sectoral pillars, such as energy, with a reduction observed on certain Congolese consumption basins." 

H.E. Ms. Alyson King, UK Ambassador to the DRC, reminded the audience that "2024 is the mid-term year of the first phase of this partnership. We are committed to mobilizing $500 million to support the formulation and implementation of ambitious policies, placing the protection of forest capital at the heart of the DRC's development priorities. We are ready to continue our work in this partnership." 

A long-standing partnership 

One of CAFI's first partner countries, the DRC signed a first Letter of Intent with CAFI in 2016, aiming to achieve 8 objectives over the 5 years of the first partnership. A second Letter of Intent, endorsed on 2 November 2021 by H.E.M the Head of State of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, and H.E.M the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr. Boris Johnson at COP26 in Glasgow, was signed for a second 10-year period (2021-2031). 

An ambitious number of milestones -90 in total- across eight sectoral development pillars, have been set for the first 5-year period (2021-2026), together with a commitment by CAFI donor states of USD 500 million to achieve them. 40% of the 2021-2024 milestones are either achieved or in progress as of March 11, 2024. 

The Annual Review takes place every year, as agreed in the 2021 Letter of Intent, and enables all stakeholders to take note of progress made, implementation difficulties in certain sectoral pillars, and to validate a set of recommendations for finding ways out, both institutional and operational, to improve the performance of the CAFI-DRC Partnership.