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Democratic Republic of the Congo

République démocratique du Congo
Coat of Arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coat of Arms
Motto: Justice – Paix – Travail
"Justice – Peace – Work"
Anthem: "Debout Congolais"
"Arise, Congolese"
Location of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
and largest city
Official languages French
Recognised national languages Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili, Tshiluba
Demonym(s) Congolese
Government Semi-presidential republic
Joseph Kabila
Louis Alphonse Koyagialo
• from Belgium
30 June 1960
• Total
2,345,409 km2 (905,567 sq mi) (11th)
• Water (%)
• 2011 estimate
71,712,867 (19th)
• Density
29.3/km2 (75.9/sq mi) (182nd)
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
• Total
$23.117 billion
• Per capita
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
• Total
$13.125 billion
• Per capita
HDI (2011) Increase 0.286
low · 187th (lowest)
Currency Congolese franc (CDF)
Time zone UTC+1 to +2 (WAT, CAT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+1 to +2 (not observed)
Driving side right
Calling code 243
ISO 3166 code CD
Internet TLD .cd
a Estimate is based on regression; other PPP figures are extrapolated from the latest International Comparison Programme benchmark estimates.
Location of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
DRC rivers
Principal rivers and lakes of the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the country that was known as Zaïre from 1971 to 1997. It is in central Africa.


The Democratic Republic of the Congo (French: République démocratique du Congo), commonly referred to as DR Congo, Congo-Kinshasa or the DRC, is a country in central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world. With a population of over 71 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the nineteenth most populous nation in the world, the fourth most populous nation in Africa, as well as the most populous Francophone (French-speaking) country.

DRC borders the Central African Republic and South Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi in the east; Zambia and Angola to the south; the Republic of the Congo, the Angolan exclave of Cabinda, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It is separated from Tanzania by Lake Tanganyika in the east. The country has access to the ocean through a 40-kilometre (25 mi) stretch of Atlantic coastline at Muanda and the roughly 9 km wide mouth of the Congo River which opens into the Gulf of Guinea. It has the second-highest total Christian population in Africa.

The Second Congo War, beginning in 1998, devastated the country. It involved nine African nations and some twenty armed groups. Despite the signing of peace accords in 2003, fighting continues in the east of the country. The war is the world's deadliest conflict since World War II, killing 5.4 million people since 1998. The vast majority died from conditions of malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo was formerly, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-Léopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa, and Zaire (Zaïre in French). Though it is in the Central African United Nations subregion, the nation is also economically and regionally affiliated with Southern Africa as a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).


The country is bordered by Angola, the South Atlantic Ocean, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania across Lake Tanganyika, and Zambia.

The capital is Kinshasa.

World Heritage Sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo are: Virunga National Park (1979), Garamba National Park (1980), Kahuzi-Biega National Park (1980), Salonga National Park (1984) and Okapi Wildlife Reserve (1996).


See also: List of cities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The country is divided into ten provinces and one city-province. The provinces are then divided into districts. The districts are divided into territories.

  1. Bandundu
  2. Bas-Congo
  3. Équateur
  4. Kasai-Occidental
  5. Kasai-Oriental
  6. Katanga
  7. Kinshasa (city-province)
  8. Maniema
  9. North Kivu
  10. Orientale
  11. South Kivu
  • An Ituri Interim Administration is also in the Ituri region of Orientale Province

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