The two cafés serve approximately 2000 unique customers each month and 10,000 across the year which is a fantastically rich and diverse benefit to the community given the need to accelerate use of digital media in order to increase capacity in the population and catch up with other countries.
Liaison Congo provides the best experience of using the internet and computing throughout Kivu and meets the needs and demand of the local community by offering a reliable internet connection, a permanent electricity power system, a secure working space and professional trainers offering practical and useful training.
The fast and reliable internet connection has enabled several businesses to start up using the cafes as an office and local business people are frequent customers. University teachers come to prepare courses and students use the cafes to study.
The revenues from internet use, admin services and training are in excess of $100,000 per year, which is sufficient to run operations, employ fifteen people who's families are able to survive on monthly salaries and repay the loans each month. Though difficult economic times have shown to reduce internet usage significantly during which times profit is low.
Late last year Liaison Congo became the first provider in DRC to offer ICDL accreditation courses and now have many students studying ICDL modules and during the summer holiday local children can attend low-cost computer introduction courses.The potential for further businesses to be created, employment rates to increase and subsequent contribution to economic growth is dramatic.
Innocent has plans to open café-3 in Bagira but the options to offer professional computer training are currently limited by the economic recession in Congo. Instead he is working with Ensemble Pour la Difference to develop a capacity in technology development and consultancy that will bring in additional revenues from local businesses and NGOs.
It’s a richly empowering business in a city that has the potential to help lead Kivu to a much better future.