A crucial meeting for the Great Lakes region slated for next month to discuss peace and trade has received Sh 20 million from the Democratic Republic of Congo.Kenya has been at the forefront in mobilizing funds to ensure the success of the Great Lakes Investment  and Trade Conference to be held in Kigali Rwanda, March 18-20.The chairman of the Great Lakes Region Private Sector Forum Richard Ngatia said the focus of the meeting will be to open up regional and international market linkages for the benefit of citizens especially the youth and women.The Forum is expected to position Kenya as a regional investment hub and act as a boost to the realization of the big 4 Agenda outlined by President Uhuru Kenyatta.The announcement of the funding was made on Monday during a consultative forum  that brought together member countries and the head of congo’s employers umbrella body Anthony Nkinzo Kamole in Kinshasa. Richard Ngatia who is also the Chamber president said the conference aims to expand trade across borders.This will in turn create employment and contribute in the reduction of conflicts in the region.He said the chamber was a signatory to the commitment charter to support implementation of Kenya National Integrated Export Promotion and Development strategy.The objective of the strategy is to enhance market access, address policy challenges in cross-border trade and make recommendations for their elimination.Apart from Kenya , Congo and Rwanda other members are Angola, Burundi ,Sudan , Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. DRC is the second country to commit monetary contribution after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni promised sh 10 million to support the event.