Germany established diplomatic relations with the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 30 June 1960, immediately after the country gained independence. Since the end of the Congo wars in 2002 and the beginning of the transition phase (2002-2006), Germany, along with its European partners and the international community, has been making an important contribution to the country’s political and economic reconstruction process. The German Government calls for a peaceful political transition and lasting political and economic reforms in order to prevent further destabilisation in the country and the region. A current priority is to improve the security situation and combat the Ebola outbreak in the eastern part of the country.
Then President Joseph Kabila visited Germany in 2002 and 2004. High-level German visits to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in recent years include then Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s visit to Kinshasa and Goma in February 2015 and Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller’s visit to Kinshasa in August 2019. Then Congolese Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda paid a visit to Berlin in January 2016.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Germany is an important development partner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Between 2015 and 2019, it pledged 400 million euros for development cooperation. It is the fourth-largest donor after the United States, the United Kingdom and the EU.
Germany’s development cooperation portfolio focuses on improving the living conditions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s population and protecting global public goods (particularly peace, biodiversity protection and climate change mitigation).
Germany provides substantial humanitarian and development-oriented structural and transitional assistance, as well as support for conflict management, crisis prevention and peacekeeping.
There is a low level of economic relations between Germany and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In 2018, Germany exported goods worth only 42.8 million euros to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, putting it in 152nd place of 239 trading partners. Imports from the country to Germany totalled 177.1 million euros. There are only a few German companies in the country. A bilateral investment protection and promotion agreement has been in force since 1969.
The Goethe-Institut has maintained a liaison office in Kinshasa since 2015. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the Hanns Seidel Foundation have offices in Kinshasa.