December 9, 2015 — 12:00 AM EST

A Congolese businessman plans to develop a hydropower project in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo to supply electricity to the region’s mines. By doing so he would establish a new model for electricity projects in the country.

Africa’s biggest copper producer is almost the size of Western Europe, though it only has installed power-generating capacity of 2,442 megawatts -- about the same as Panama’s. Only half that capacity is functioning.

Eric Monga, regional head of the Federation des Entreprises du Congo, a business lobby group known as the FEC, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Congolese government in September for the development of two sites in Haut-Katanga province. Most of the 1 million metric tons of copper the country produces comes from the southeastern region, which was previously known as Katanga.

“Power is the solution for Katanga and for the rest of the Congo,” Monga said. “More Congolese should be investing in it.

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