Democratic Republic of the Congo

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INFORMATION

Capital: Kinshasa

Government: Unitary Semi-Presidential Republic

Current President: Joseph Kabila

Economy:

  • Much economic activity still occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data.
  • Renewed activity in the mining sector, the source of most export income, boosted Kinshasa’s fiscal position and GDP growth from 2006-08.
  • Main exports: diamonds, copper, coffee, cobalt, and crude oil.

Population: 83,301,151 (2017)

Land Size: 2.34 million sq km (905,354 sq miles)

Major Ethnic Groups:

  • Over 200 African ethnic groups
  • Majority are Bantu (make up about 45% of the population);
    • Mongo
    • Luba
    • Kongo (all Bantu)
    • Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic)
Religions:

  • Roman Catholic: 50%
  • Protestant: 20%
  • Kimbanguist: 10%
  • Muslim: 10%
  • Other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs): 10%

Language(s):

  • French (official)
  • Lingala (a lingua franca trade language)
  • Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili)
  • Kikongo
  • Tshiluba

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RECENT NEWS

  • Sat - Jun 23, 2018: 16-Year-Old Congolese Refugee Touching Lives in Uganda - AllAfrica News: Congo-Kinshasa
    [Observer] Sephora Uzele Murogo was forcibly driven out of Democratic Republic of Congo into Uganda by political unrest in 2015. Together with her mother and siblings, Uzele settled in Nakivale refugee settlement in Isingiro district.
  • Thu - Jun 21, 2018: The Bemba Earthquake - AllAfrica News: Congo-Kinshasa
    [ICG] The ICC's acquittal of Jean-Pierre Bemba comes at a critical point in DR Congo elections. President Kabila and his opponents will have to recalibrate strategies ahead of Bemba's likely return. Outside powers should keep pressing Kabila to stand down and allow opposition candidates to participate.
  • Thu - Jun 21, 2018: Ebola Response Shows Lessons Learned - AllAfrica News: Congo-Kinshasa
    [AfricaFocus] The Democratic Republic of Congo has extensive experience in successfully containing Ebola outbreaks (the one which was reported in May is the ninth since the first in 1976). But this one, with cases in Mbandaka, a river-port city of over one million people on the country's western border, raised the nightmare scenario of spreading to other river-port cities such as the capital Kinshasa (over 11 million people), as well as Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo, and Bangui in the Central African Republic
  • Wed - Jun 20, 2018: Felix Tshisekedi Ready to Stand Back - AllAfrica News: Congo-Kinshasa
    [Daily Maverick] The DRC presidential candidate has been in South Africa to urge Pretoria to ensure the December elections are free and fair. Felix Tshisekedi thinks he could be "the saviour of the Congo." But he also says he is prepared to stand down for another opposition candidate in the December 23 2018 elections, if that will serve his country better.
  • Wed - Jun 20, 2018: As DR Congo Grapples with Ebola, Guinea Keeps Up Its Guard - AllAfrica News: Congo-Kinshasa
    [VOA] Just after a morning rain, Gourma Mamadou was shopping in this capital city's crowded, open-air Kaloum market. The young man said he was well aware of the current Ebola outbreak simmering some 4,000 kilometers to the southeast in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the World Health Organization reports it has killed 28 people since April.