Although inflation is high, the cost of living in Kinshasa remains relatively low for expatriates and salaries tend to be high in order to attract foreign nationals into vacancies where their skills and experience are required.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has a wealth of natural resources, including gas, oil, timber and minerals. However, this does not bring financial gain to most of the local population as the majority of the revenue generated from these resources either ends up in the hands of corrupt authorities and the wealthy elite, or goes abroad to foreign corporations. The country’s GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world. The Congolese Franc is the local unit of currency.
Kinshasa is both a city and a province. One of the key industries in the area is mining, although the years of conflict have taken their toll and have meant that this sector is not as lucrative as might otherwise have been the case. Gold, copper, zinc and diamonds are among the resources mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Agriculture continues to be an important sector in Kinshasa, with crops including sugar, corn, plantains, palm oil and peanuts.
Many foreign nationals who work in Kinshasa are recruited into the position from a location in another country by their existing multinational employer. This is probably the simplest way to make a career move to the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, if you are not in a position to get a secondment or transfer through your current employer, there are plenty of recruitment agencies advertising jobs in Kinshasa online. Visit sites such as Careers in Africa.
Many expats are employed in the mining industry, and you can find some managerial and executive roles advertised on dedicated mining recruitment websites, for example InfoMine. If you are interested in working for the UN in Kinshasa, check out their recruitment site. Those who hope to work in Kinshasa on humanitarian and development projects should visit specialist sites such as Reliefweb.
An employer who wishes to recruit a foreign national to work in Kinshasa is required to submit an application for a work card (carte du travail) on behalf of the prospective employee, together with several supporting documents. These include the applicant’s resume and supporting evidence of their skills and experience. Employers in Kinshasa are required to comply with legislation which states that a corporation’s workforce may consist of no more than 15% foreign nationals. If you need to apply for a visa yourself, you should contact the embassy in your home country.
There are two types of work permit which may be issued in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The visa d’établissement de travail allows a person to work in the country for one or two years, depending on the circumstances. By contrast the visa d’établissement de travail spécifique has a nominated fixed term, which may be for up to one year, and this visa cannot be renewed.