“La Kinoise”, the homegrown coffee in the DR Congo reviving business

A young entrepreneur in the Democratic Republic of Congo has opened up a coffee factory that is helping revive the coffee industry in Kinshasa, the capital of the central African nation.

Tisya Mukuna set up her business in 2022 after completing her studies in France. She’s introduced mobile coffee carts to target low-income earners in a city where many coffee shops are patronized by the well-to-do. 

“I am convinced that it is the economic actors that can change Africa… that can change Congo. We rely a lot on the government, on politics whereas we can rely on the economic actors that create jobs.” Mukuna said. 

The aroma of freshly ground coffee wafts through the air in the Kingabwa neighbourhood of Kinshasa. Staff at the “Cafe La Kinoise” factory are busy processing it. As such is the impact of the young entrepreneur, Tisya Mukuna. Her company is not just providing coffee, it is providing jobs to many Congolese citizens.

Her company recently introduced mobile coffee carts to target people on the move.

“Before I started selling coffee at Cafe La Kinoise, I used to spend the whole day at home because I had no job. But nowadays, I’m always busy selling coffee. I wake up very early every morning to serve my customers.” Tiani Ebengi a coffee seller in Kinshasa said.

The La Kinoise coffee is grown on a 20-hectare farm on the outskirts of Kinshasa. A lot of the coffee grown in the DRC is exported abroad in raw form and finds its way back into the country as a processed product. But the Cafe la Kinoise farm is seeking to change that.

Correspondent Chris Ocamringa reports that “in the 1980’s the Democratic Republic of Congo was one of Africa’s leading coffee exporters. Most of the coffee grown in the country that was known as Zaire came from the eastern provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu. But an armed conflict that has gone on for nearly three decades has ravaged the country’s agricultural potential in those regions.”

Entrepreneurs like Tisya Mukuna are now trying to revive the DRC’s coffee sector by growing the Robusta and Arabica varieties.

“Every year we try to find a new strategy to promote the coffee. For example, a few days ago I was in China to promote the coffee and I’ll be going back in a few months. I’ll also travel to Brazzaville. We try to sell the brand.” says Mukuna.

With many local and international awards, Mukuna and her team say they have been inspired to keep improving their coffee brand one cup at a time.

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