Country Facts Congo

Country Facts Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, DRC, DROC, RDC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply Congo is a country located in Central Africa. From 1971 to 1997 it was named Zaïre. It borders the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan to the north, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the East, Zambia and Angola to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world. With a population of over 75 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated officially Francophone country, the fourth most populated nation in Africa and the nineteenth most populated country in the world.

The Congolese Civil Wars, which began in 1996, brought about the end of Mobutu Sese Seko's 31-year reign and devastated the country. The wars ultimately involved nine African nations, multiple groups of UN peacekeepers and twenty armed groups, and resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is extremely rich in natural resources, but political instability, a lack of infrastructure, deep rooted corruption, and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation have limited holistic development. Besides the capital, Kinshasa, the other major cities, Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi, are both mining communities. DR Congo's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRC's exports in 2012. As of 2013, according to the Human Development Index (HDI), DR Congo has a low level of human development, ranking 186 out of 187 countries.

Capital city: Kinshasa

Total Area: 2,345,409 km2

Area under water: 4.3 %

Population: 81 million people (2015)

Languages: Lingala, Kituba ("Kikongo ya leta"), Tshiluba, English and Swahili.

Religions:Christianity is the majority religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by about 95% of the population according to Pew Research Center 2010 estimate, and 80% according to CIA World Factbook and Pew Research Center 2013 data. Indigenous beliefs accounts for about 1.8–10%, and Islam for 10–12%.

Government: Republic

Independence Date: 30th June 1960

Industry: Mining, including textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods, beverages, metal products, lumber, cement & commercial ship repair

Agriculture: Fishing, Forestry 

Climate: Tropical

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is by the Congo River Basin, which covers an area of almost 1,000,000 square kilometres (390,000 sq mi). The country's only outlet to the Atlantic Ocean is a narrow strip of land on the north bank of the Congo River.

The vast, low-lying central area is a basin-shaped plateau sloping toward the west, covered by tropical rainforest and criss-crossed by rivers, a large area of this has been categorized by the World Wildlife Fund as the Central Congolian lowland forests ecoregion. The forest center is surrounded by mountainous terraces in the west, plateaus merging into savannahs in the south and southwest.

Dense grasslands extend beyond the Congo River in the north. High mountains of the Ruwenzori Range (some above 5,000 m or 16,000 ft) are found on the eastern borders with Rwanda and Uganda (see Albertine Rift montane forests for a description of this area).

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