Fun facts and information on Democratic Republic of Congo-Zaire

General information on Democratic Republic of Congo-Zaire:

Formerly Zaire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has since 1997 been torn by civil strife, internal turmoil and ethnic and intertribal war, ignited off by a large influx of refugees 1994 fleeing the bloodshed in Rwanda and Burundi.

Ex-President Mobutu Sese Seko’s government was overthrown by Laurent Kabila in May 1997.

Kabila’s regime was later challenged by a Rwanda-Uganda-backed revolt in August 1998.

Military forces from Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Chad, Sudan came in to assit and support the Kabila government, culminating in a July 10 1999 ceasefire.

Kabila’s son Joseph was named Head of State after his father’s assassination in 2001.

Hostilities settled in 2001.

Geographical information on Democratic Republic of Congo-Zaire:

Geographical Position: Central Africa, northeast of Angola,

Map Ref Latitude & Longitude 0 degrees 00 North, 25 degrees 00 East

Total Land & Sea Area Total: 2,345,400 square kilometres Sea Area77,800 square kilometres land area: 2,267,500 square kilometres

Land boundaries: Total: 10,750 kilometres Border countries: Angola 2,500 kilometres (of which 230 kilometres is the boundary of Angola's discontiguous Cabinda Province), Burundi 235 kilometres , Central African Republic 1,580 kilometres , Republic of the Congo 2,400 kilometres , Rwanda 220 kilometres , Sudan 630 kilometres , Tanzania 460 kilometres , Uganda 760 kilometres , Zambia 1,900 kilometres Coastal Length: 37 kilometres

Exclusive economic zone: boundaries with neighbors

Climatological information on Democratic Republic of Congo-Zaire:

Tropical Country terrain: vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east

Highest & Lowest Elevations: Lowest elevation: Atlantic Ocean at mean sea level highest point: Pic Marguerite on Mont Northgaliema (Mount Stanley) 5,100 meters

Natural resources: cobalt, copper mining, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold deposits, silver, zinc mining, manganese deposits, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite mining, iron ore, coal, hydropower, timber and lumber. Land use: arable land area: 3 percent permanent crops: 0.5 percent other: 96.5 percent (1998 estimate.) Irrigated land area: 100 square kilometres (1998 estimate.)

Natural hazards: Some droughts in the southern areas; floods, active volcanoes.

Geographical information on Democratic Republic of Congo-Zaire:

Tropical forest Population: 56,625,100 Age structure: Under 15: 48 percent From 15 to 65: 49 percent Over 65: 2 percent Median age: Total: 16years female: 16 years (2002) male: 16years Population growth rate: 3 percent (2003 estimate.) Birth rate: 45 births/1,000 population (2003 estimate.) Death rate: 14.9 deaths/1,000 population (2003 estimate.) Net migration rate: -1.3 migrant /1,000 population Infant mortality rate: Total: 96 deaths/1,000 live births female: 88 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 estimate.) male: 105 deaths/1,000 live births Life expectancy at birth: total population: 49 years male: 47 years female: 51 years (2003 estimate.) Total fertility rate: 6.7 children born/woman (2003 estimate.) Nationality: Congolese

Ethnic information on Democratic Republic of Congo-Zaire: More than 200 African ethnic groups mainly Bantu; and Mangbetu-Azande represent near 50 percent of the population

Religious information on Democratic Republic of Congo-Zaire: Roman Catholic 45 percent, Protestant 25 percent, Islam/Muslim faith 15 percent, Kimbanguist 10 percent, other religious sects and indigenous beliefs 5 percent Languages: French (official), Lingala, Kingwana, Kikongo, Tshiluba Literacy: definition: age 15 and over that can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba total population: 65 percent male: 76 percent female: 55 percent (2003 estimate.)


Congo, Democratic Republic of the Government type: Dictatorship. Capital city: Kinshasa

Independence: 30 June 1960 from Belgium National holiday: Independence Day, 30 June 1960 Constitution: 24 June 1967 Legal system: based on Belgian law system and tribal law; Suffrage: All citizens get the vote at 18 years of age

Executive branch: Head of State: President Head of government: President cabinet: National Executive Council, Legislative branch: Transitional Constituent Assembly

Judicial branch Supreme Court or Cour Supreme


Economy information on Democratic Republic of Congo-Zaire: Potentially wealthy, the 1998 civil war was a major fact of the decrease of the national output and government incomes and froze foreign investments.

Moreover it has weakened legal framework so that corruption, inflation, and lack economic reforms.

However the IMF and some World Bank missions have pushed the President to begin necesary reforms. GDP - Gross Domestic Product: - $USD35 billion (2002 estimate.) GDP - Gross Domestic Product - growth rate: 3 percent (2002 estimate.) GDP - Gross Domestic Product - per capita: - $USD650 (2002 estimate.) GDP - Gross Domestic Product - composition by sector: agriculture: 50 percent industry: 15 percent services: 35 percent (2000 estimate.) Inflation rate (consumer prices): 15 percent (2002 estimate.) Labor force: 14.5 million (1993 estimate.)

Budget information on Democratic Republic of Congo-Zaire: incomes: $USD270 million spending: $USD250 million, Industries: Diamonds, copper mining and zinc mining, mineral processing, consumer products, cement.

Agriculture - products:

Coffee plantations, sugar growing & processing, palm oil growing, rubber growing & manufacture, tea, quinine, tubers and root crops, maize, corn, various fruits; wood and wood products. Exports: $USD1 billion (2002 estimate.)

Exports - commodities: Coffee,coffee beans & coffee products, diamonds, copper and cobalt mining, crude oil & petroleum products, Exports - partners: Belgium 65 percent, US 13 percent, Zimbabwe 7 percent, Finland 5 percent (2002) Imports: $USD900 million (2002 estimate.)

Imports - commodities: Foodstuffs, processed foods, mining and other machinery and transport equipment, fuels Imports - partners: Belgium 15 percent, South Africa 14. percent, Nigeria 10 percent, France 9.5 percent, Germany 7 percent, Netherlands 5 percent, Kenya 5 percent (2002) Debt - external: $USD13 billion (2000 estimate.)

Currency: Congolese franc (CDF) Currency code: CDF


Congo, Democratic Republic of the Telephones: 20,000 (2000)

Radio broadcast stations: Amplitude Modulation 3, Frequency Modulation 11, SW 2 (2001) Television stations: 4 (2001) Internet country code: .cd

Travel to Democratic Republic of Congo-Zaire:

Railroad networks: Total: 4,772 kilometres Roading System: Total: 160,000 kilometres Pipelines: gas 55 kilometres ; oil 70 kilometres (2003) Airports: 229 (2002)

Military information on Democratic Republic of Congo-Zaire:

Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Special Security Battalion Military spending: $USD250 million

Disputes - international: Civil war in which the rebels are supported by Uganda and Rwanda so that they occupy much of the eastern portion of the state.

Ethnic groups and political disputes in Great Lakes regions continue despite UN intervention.

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