Today we had breakfast at Nzu Binati and the order of the breakfast menu was restored (i.e. we could have porridge again). After breakfast we took a taxi to the Swedish Embassy where we had a meeting with the Counsellor Christina Etzeil. She handles and decides on Swedish aid distribution to the various programs and projects in Congo Kinshasa. On the whole, we had a rich and informative one-hour conversation. We presented the entire spectrum of our activities and gave her a copy of our information binder. The aid money is tightly controlled and the chances of getting benefit of these funds aren’t good, but we will work to get a piece of the cake.
In the afternoon we visited the European Union office in Kinshasa. Before the let us in, we were examined from head to toe. A large number of guards scrutinized both us and our papers. When we had been approved, we were allowed to go to the fourteenth floor where we met officer Mr. Daniele De Bernardi, the person whom we had made an appointment with. He is responsible for EU’s work in the two areas of farming and secure food supply. We gave him the same information that we had given the Swedish Councellor in the morning and left our information binder to him. Daniele was a talkative man and he freely shared information about their current EU projects with budgets from 2 to 8 million EUR. Compared to these projects, we play in another, minor division. Still, the information he can provide is good, and can be even more important in the future. He also described what paths we should go to apply for grants. This was the first step in our contact with the European Union in Congo. The future will tell if we will be eligible for support from their aid system.
The evening we made a summary of the events of this week and then we had a meeting with Julienne and Yapeco about our joint businesses. We had coffee with juice and baguettes together, and then we said farwell.
Tomorrow we’re off to Brazzaville.