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 - Dec 15, 2018: DR Congo Elections - Kabila Hints He Could Return - AllAfrica News: Congo-Kinshasa
    [Nation] With less than two weeks to the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and even with reports that fire broke out at the warehouse of the electoral body in Kinshasa, destroying voting materials for 19 of 24 polling districts, outgoing President Joseph Kabila has made it clear that he will continue calling the shots.
  • Fri - Dec 14, 2018: DR Congo Faces Pivotal Poll After 2 Years of Delays - AllAfrica News: Congo-Kinshasa
    [VOA] The December 23 elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo are the country's most important in more than a decade. After delaying a new poll for two years, longtime President Joseph Kabila is stepping aside. Two main candidates are vying to replace him, one is his handpicked successor, the other an opposition leader.
  • Fri - Dec 14, 2018: Thousands of Voting Machines Destroyed in Fire - AllAfrica News: Congo-Kinshasa
    [VOA] An early morning warehouse fire in Kinshasa has destroyed thousands of voting machines and other election materials that were to be used in Congo's upcoming presidential election.
  • Fri - Dec 14, 2018: Fire Destroys Voting Machines Ahead of Poll - AllAfrica News: Congo-Kinshasa
    [Deutsche Welle] A warehouse blaze in the Democratic Republic of Congo has destroyed thousands of voting machines and ballot boxes, just ahead of a crucial presidential election. The vote, however, is still slated to go ahead.
  • Fri - Dec 14, 2018: Critical Ebola Lessons from Liberia to the DR Congo - AllAfrica News: Congo-Kinshasa
    [The Conversation Africa] Ebola in the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) has now spread to urban areas. The Conversation Africa's Moina Spooner spoke to Mosoka Fallah who was head of case detection during Liberia's ebola outbreak in 2014 and 2015 about his experience, and what lessons that experience offers.