Arthur Katalayi

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Arthur Katalayi
Born (1982-05-10) May 10, 1982 (age 36)
Lyon, France Flag of France.svg
ResidenceDR Congo Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg
Education United States  United Kingdom
Alma materRider University (M.A.)
Salem International University

Arthur Kalala Katalayi (/kəˈtɑːlɑːji/; born May 10, 1982), nicknamed "The Katalyst", is an entrepreneur from the Democratic Republic of Congo.[1]

He serves as a senior advisor and global ambassador for Giving Back to Africa.[2][3] In 2014, Katalayi took on the role of senior executive advisor to the Chairman of the board of directors at the Congolese state-owned cobalt and copper mining company Gecamines;[4][5][6] he simultaneously serves as a global economic advisor to the President at the Federation des Entreprises du Congo - DRC's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and its principal business lobby group.[7] His career hence falls into three strands: social development, business advisory and entrepreneurship.

Katalayi has respectively resided in France, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Belgium and now the Democratic Republic of Congo.[7] In 2017, Katalayi was named among a prestigious worldwide list honoring the "Top 100 Most Influential People of African Descent" under 40; in support of the United Nations.[8][9]

Early life and education[edit]

A Luba art collector of Luba ancestry, Katalayi was born near the French Alps within the city of Lyon, France, and raised in Paris.[10] His namesakes are American tennis player Arthur Ashe and Kingdom of Luba emperor Kalala Ilunga. Katalayi first visited the Democratic Republic of Congo aged 6; in Kinshasa, and Lubumbashi, in the Katanga Province. At the age of 16, he left France for the United Kingdom where he spent a year in London, before attending the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College from 1999 until 2001.[11]

2001 - United States[edit]

Already showing signs of maturity and an international adaptability which belied his young years, three years after leaving France for the England, Katalayi was again weighing up the inviting vista of life in foreign climes. Having always had an eye for more far-reaching adventures than his peers, the United States of America then appeared to be the next natural destination towards Katalayi's progression and global aspirations. Katalayi has always wanted to traverse new frontiers and destiny would have it, and in search of his American dream, Katalayi first set foot on U.S. soil in July 2001,[12] in New York City, on what proved to be a life-changing, defining voyage. Thereafter, he earned a Bachelor's degree in 2005 from Salem International University, where he played college soccer as a student-athlete on an athletic scholarship,[10] and was part of the team that was the 2004 West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season champion.

Giving Back to Africa[edit]

In 2007, after a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo Katalayi joined Giving Back to Africa. The following year, whilst still at Rider, Katalayi gave a presentation about the Democratic Republic of Congo to two Baccalaureate Honors freshmen classes that had recently read 2000 Oprah's Book Club best-selling novel;[13]The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, which is set in the Congo during the 1960s. In March 2012, Katalayi was invited as a Mover and Shaker, on South Africa's SAfm national radio station, owned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation and headquartered in Johannesburg. Katalayi moved to Belgium in 2011, visited South Africa in 2012, and China in 2013.


2014 saw Katalayi expand his horizons further once more as he finally moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo to join parastatal mining firm Gecamines. Katalayi came to the attention of Congolese business magnate and Gecamines Chairman Albert Yuma some years earlier, and Yuma brought Katalayi to Congo as his senior executive advisor, according to The Wall Street Journal.[14] Katalayi's experience includes capital market consulting assignments on Wall Street particularly at Bloomberg L.P., and most notably at the New York Stock Exchange. It is understood that Gecamines is currently assessing different modes of financing[15] with the possibility to monetize some of its copper and cobalt assets via an initial public offering - Gecamines current stakes in its joint-ventures are thought to be valued in excess of $2 billion; which includes a $1 billion valuation in Glencore-controlled Kamoto Copper Company according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report.[15]The Democratic Republic of Congo, via Gecamines, holds 80% of the world's cobalt reserves, the price of which has soared more than 70% on the London Metal Exchange and is the hottest commodity within the global financial market as of 2017 [16]. Given the insatiable demand for cobalt, a key ingredient used in lithium-ion batteries powering everything from Apple Inc.,'s iPhone to Tesla, Inc. cars, the interest in the mineral that helps fuel the Chinese and Californian economies is only likely to increase and yield more future opportunities for Gecamines; especially considering that cobalt is essential for the battery technology needed for the shift to renewable energy. In a Financial Times interview, Gecamines Chairman expressed his dissatisfaction with existing joint-ventures, having failed to generate excepted dividends, and that future partnerships with investors will differ from current ones [17].

In 2013, to strengthen its Board of Directors, Gecamines recruited American Jewish Congress Chairman, New York City Real estate developer and US businessman Jack Rosen, whom Katalayi befriended. Gecamines is working to reshape its global standing in the mining industry by re-securing its heyday place as the premier, state-owned mining company on the African continent.

Awards and Recognition[edit]

MIPAD Top 100 Global List[edit]

Katalayi was named among an exclusive 2017 global list of 100 of the most influential people of African descent under 40. The initiative is in conjunction of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 68/237 which will be observed until 2024.[9][18]

Year Award Category Result Ref(s)
2017 Global Top 100 - Most Influential People of African Descent under 40 Politics and Governance Honoree [9]


Katalayi is currently working on his first Bildungsroman, christened The Katalyst.[19]

  • Katalayi, Arthur Kalala, The Katalyst: A Positive Perspective for a Prosperous Congo., forthcoming.


  1. ^ “Student's Project Raises Awareness About Congo” News at Rider University April 15th, 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-16
  2. ^ “Graduate works to educate on Congo” The Rider News March 25th, 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-16
  3. ^ “Board and Advisory Committee” Giving Back to Africa April 15th, 2009. Retrieved 2011-05-16
  4. ^ "Glencore Shares Fall on Copper Problems" The Wall Street Journal September 14th, 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-16
  5. ^ "Gecamines Backs Glencore Plan to Suspend Congo Copper Output" Bloomberg News October 1st, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-07
  6. ^ "Glencore Unit in Congo Made Undisclosed Payments to Businessman Accused of Bribery" The Wall Street Journal November 16th, 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-14
  7. ^ a b “People: Alumni - World Traveler” Rider Magazine, October 4th, 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-14
  8. ^ "Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) honorees" CNN May 25th, 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-07
  9. ^ a b c "Most Influential Persons of African Descent 2017 List Released" Say Nigeria, April 18th, 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-07
  10. ^ a b “Katalayi Raises Awareness About Congo” News at Rider University May 22, 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-16
  11. ^ "Former student calls in to thank the Sixth Form College for his success on the international stage" Archived May 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College March 02, 2012.
  12. ^ “Student remembers his roots” The Rider News April 3rd, 2009. Retrieved 2011-05-16
  13. ^ "O, The Oprah Magazine" May 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
  14. ^ “Copper Is Catalyst for Glencore Rescue Plan” The Wall Street Journal September 9th, 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-09
  15. ^ a b "Congo's Gecamines Shelves Sale of Stake in Glencore Copper Mine" The Wall Street Journal June 2nd, 2014. Retrieved 2016-21-05
  16. ^ “The hottest thing in the markets right now is an obscure metal mined in DR Congo” Quartz April 27th, 2017. Retrieved 2017-08-09
  17. ^ "Gecamines woos Chinese investors for Congo mining projects" Financial Times November 26th, 2016. Retrieved 2017-09-08
  18. ^ "Opinion: The 'door of return' is open for people of African descent" CNN May 27th, 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-07
  19. ^ “Friday Feature: Arthur Kalala Katalayi” Tara Sullivan Books, December 7th, 2012. Retrieved 2015-10-07