Enterprise economics praises cities, particularly capital cities. They are talked about as hubs of commerce, a place for exchange of ideas, and centres of innovation. When enterprise economics isn't praising cities, it is often eulogising on places that share features with cities, such as industrial zones and business clusters.
The latest DRC data from the World Bank allows us to see where innovative companies are based in the country. Here are the rates of introduction of new or improved products, split by region:
Nationwide, over four in ten companies have innovated in new products in
the last three years. Surprisingly, the rate is lowest in the West
around the capital Kinshasa. The region has many advantages that should
make it innovative: it has the capital city, it is by the coast for
easy trading, it has a measure of security, and it is easiest for
international expatriates to reach. But the most innovative region is
the South, which does have the large city of Lubumbashi.
in new or improved products could be an introduction to the company
(but rivals already make the product), or it could be stricter
innovation of products that are new to the whole market. When we look
at this stricter, new-to-the-market innovation, there are even more
The West has even lower innovation rates with only a quarter of companies innovating, while in the South and East over a third of companies have innovated in the last three years. The East's innovation occurs despite its relative isolation from other knowledge centres and the predations of armed groups.
Assuming that the self-reported data is correct, I would guess at explanations like "the region is catching up", "necessity is the mother of invention", or "there is competition to take part in the extractive industries". But these are only plausible guesses.