University of Michigan Professor and U.S. Embassy Work to Improve Supply Chains in the DRC

Dr. Ravi Anupindi, Professor of Operations Research and Management at the University of Michigan, hosted Congolese professionals in shipping and transportation logistics in Kinshasa and Matadi to improve efficiency in the DRC’s supply chains. The November 7 and 9 events gathered logistics operators with government officials to discuss best practices in delivering consumer and humanitarian goods to the citizens of the DRC.

“One of the best ways for a country to reduce poverty and create jobs is to make it easy to export and import goods and to bring those goods to and from interior markets,” said Dr. Anupindi. “The ability of a country to participate in globalization through trade is impacted not only by the state of its physical infrastructure but also its “soft infrastructure” that includes customs and border management procedures, logistics services, etc. Often the complexity of navigating these barriers constitutes a larger portion of the total time in a cross-border transaction. Low and middle income countries should tirelessly and continuously improve their soft infrastructure through transparency and communication among stakeholders to improve their competitive positioning in global trade.”

“Delivering hundreds of millions of dollars of humanitarian and development assistance from the U.S. government to the Congolese people is a major logistical challenge.  Improving access to some of the country’s most difficult to reach zones will literally save lives,” said U.S. Ambassador to the DRC Mike Hammer.

The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa invited Dr. Anupindi’s to the DRC as part of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) Speaker Program. The IIP Speaker Program hires experts from the U.S. private sector, academia, and other non-governmental organizations to partner with host countries and demonstrate U.S. methods for overcoming certain challenges related to development.