In 2014, the Banro Foundation added a new priority to its mandate - sustainable agriculture. The inaugural Fundi agricultural project is located 15 kilometres from the village of Namoya in Maniema province. The initial crops to be grown include cassava, beans, corn and soya, with the goal of adding cash crops such as coffee as well as chicken and pigs within two to three years. The project has a number of goals - to generate local employment, transfer enhanced agricultural skills, open new markets for locally grown produce and provide a local food supply for Banro employees while generating income for the local community. The project received an extra boost in July 2014 with the gift of four new John Deere tractors from the Governor of Maniema Province.
The Banro Foundation has completed the second of three facilities that constitute the new Nabuntalaga market at Luhwindja, South Kivu. The Foundation completed the first stage in May 2013. It quickly filled to capacity and the local Banro Foundation committee, composed of local community leaders, recommended the construction of two more stages. Regional markets and critical to local economic development, creating a focus for the commercial exchange of goods and increasing the velocity of money in circulation.
During 2013 - 2014, the Banro Foundation has focused on the building of new medical facilities. The largest is the Salamabila Referral Hospital in Namoya, Maniema Province. Construction of the new facility benefited from a fund-raising event, “Celebrate the Congo”, which was hosted by the Foundation in Toronto in 2012 and raised US$112,000. A slightly smaller facility, the Tukolo Health Centre, is under construction at Kamituga, South Kivu Province. More recently, a stone-laying ceremony was held in a small village near Lugushwa, South Kivu for the planned Byombi Health Clinic.
The Banro Foundation is close to completing construction of its latest education project - a women’s residence at the public University of Kindu in Maniema Province, DRC. The dormitory will house 48 students. This modern and growing university, with an enrollment of 15,000 students, began as an extension of the University of Kinshasa in 2004 and became an independent institution in 2010.