Appointment of Professor BOKANGA Mpoko as first Executive Director of the PHC Foundation

Thursday February 08, 2024, the board of directors of the PHC Foundation met in Kinshasa, under the leadership of Mr. Walé ADEOSUN, President of the Foundation. During this meeting, the board of directors appointed Professor BOKANGA Mpoko as the first Executive Director of the PHC Foundation. The board also approved the strategy as well as the projects proposed for the 2024 financial year.

The mission of the PHC Foundation is to improve the living conditions of rural communities by offering them viable and environmentally friendly agribusiness opportunities, a healthy and sustainable living environment through adequate health and educational infrastructure. In this context, it will implement projects in the areas of community development through youth entrepreneurship, environmental conservation, excellence in education, and promotion of health and nutrition. maternal and child.

The vision of the PHC Foundation is to create prosperous and sustainable rural communities. Its objective is to amplify the social actions carried out by society Plantations et Huileries du Congo (PHC) within the framework of corporate social responsibility. The PHC Foundation aims to bring economic and social development projects to rural communities mainly including the production of food crops, livestock, fishing, youth entrepreneurship, women's empowerment, affordable housing, protection bonobos, the production of biogas and renewable energy, alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture, the reconstruction of schools, access to digital content in school programs, improving access to drinking water , and the promotion of good health, hygiene and nutrition.

“We believe that prosperity should be shared equitably and that every individual should have the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life. By launching the foundation, we aim to bring about meaningful and lasting change in the communities we operate with. We want to be a catalyst for progress and growth for all,” said Ms. Monique Gieskes, Managing Director of PHC. the inauguration of the foundation in Lokutu on September 05, 2023.

Who is Professor Bokanga, first Executive Director of the PHC Foundation?

With a professional career of 35 years in international agricultural development, mainly in Africa, Professor Bokanga is a specialist in agri-food technologies. He obtained his master's degree in food technology in 1984 from the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States and his doctorate in food science and technology in 1989 from Cornell University, also in the United States. He began his career in research and development at Nestlé in the United States (Westreco, New Milford, CT), then at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria where he developed the production process of bread flour now known as high quality cassava flour (HQCF) for the incorporation of cassava into consumer items such as bread, biscuits, cakes, croquettes, meat pies, etc. In 2001, he was appointed Professor of Food Science and Technology at Alabama A&M University in the United States.

Before his appointment at PHC, Professor Bokanga held several important positions, notably at UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) from 2009 to 2014 where he was Head of the Agribusiness Development Unit in Vienna , in Austria, then UNIDO representative in Kenya, Eritrea and South Sudan.

Between 2004 and 2008, Professor Bokanga was the first Executive Director of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), in Nairobi, Kenya, a non-profit organization specializing in facilitating access to agricultural technologies of high performance developed by the private sector to promote the transformation of African agriculture. Professor Bokanga was a consultant at the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan from 2016 to 2020, where he worked on the development strategy of Special Agroindustrial Zones (SAPZ) and also served as technical coordinator of the project “ Technologies for Agricultural Transformation in Africa” (TAAT).

In 2021, Professor Bokanga, in partnership with Dr. Armstrong Takang of Nigeria, established the business advisory firm Growth Alliance Partners (GAP) to provide services to create competitive and sustainable businesses that produce exceptional returns for investors and developers, while having a positive impact on host communities. In 2022, he was appointed Director of Operations of PHC and in February 2024, he has just been entrusted with the task of establishing the PHC foundation and making it a public interest institution focused on the sustainable development of rural areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

PHC has a long tradition of promoting social development in rural areas

Since its creation in 1911, PHC, formerly known as Huileries du Congo Belge (HCB), had been entrusted with a social development mission. Already in 1930, HCB operated 20 small palm oil production factories, but also managed 14 hospitals, each headed by a Belgian doctor and a midwifery training school. HCB also took care of 5 primary and vocational schools, welcoming 1500 students.

Today, PHC has retained only 3 plantations from the vast network set up by HCB, but with a capacity ten times greater. In addition to being the largest palm oil producer in the DRC, PHC also manages 4 hospitals with a total of more than 400 sick beds, 18 dispensaries and 4 health centers providing quality medical care to more than 150 000 people in rural areas. Over the past five years, PHC has built 20 schools and dug and maintained 70 wells to ensure access to drinking water. It is this commitment to improving the social status of Congolese people in rural areas that the PHC company wants to amplify by creating the PHC Foundation. Through this Foundation, PHC wants to ensure greater investment so that Congolese rural areas become poles of sustainable economic and social development.

—PHC Communication—

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