Subject: Chambers Federation, a Goma-based U.S. company, wins the Award for Corporate Excellence for its work to Empower Women
Goma, DRC – On October 16, U.S. Ambassador to the DRC Mike Hammer presented Matthew Chambers, head of the Chambers Federation, with the U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE). Each year, the U.S. government presents the ACE to exceptional American companies abroad that uphold high standards of responsible business conduct. The Chambers Federation is one of four 2019 ACE winners.
The Chambers Federation is a social impact investment firm building inclusive, sustainable businesses in the DRC. They built the Congo’s first chocolate processing facility with the goal of empowering and promoting women living in areas of conflict. The chocolate is grown, harvested, and manufactured entirely by women. The Chambers Federation also established the first supply chain of conflict-free, mercury-free, fully traced, responsible artisanal gold from a conflict zone, which is exported to the U.S. and European markets. Their newest initiative has developed an eco-friendly manufacturing process and trains women recovering from gender-based violence to produce gold jewelry and components.
“Increasing U.S. trade and investment ties to the Congo is one of my top priorities and at the foundation of the U.S.-DRC Privileged Partnership for Peace and Prosperity,” said U.S. Ambassador Mike Hammer. “We welcome and encourage socially responsible American companies – organizations like the Chambers Federation – to invest in the Congo, a country with enormous potential and a dynamic workforce.”
“We are here testing a business model that includes women’s empowerment and responsible sourcing to build a resilient community so that this can be replicated in other high-risk areas,” Chambers said. “To be given a glimmer of hope is an incredible thing.”
This year commemorates the ACE award’s 20th year. Established in 1999, it recognizes U.S. companies that promote and uphold high standards as responsible members of their communities where they do business. Together, these companies exemplify some of the most promising and innovative business ideas of the 21st century: that profitability and sustainability are not mutually exclusive, and that sustainability can drive prosperity in the modern economy. The 2019 ACE categories are Sustainable Operations and Women’s Economic Empowerment.