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Democratic Republic of the Congo facts for kids

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Democratic Republic of the Congo

République démocratique du Congo  (French)
Repubilika ya Kôngo ya Dimokalasi  (Kongo)
Republíki ya Kongó Demokratíki  (Lingala)
Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo  (Swahili)
Ditunga dia Kongu wa Mungalaata  (Luba-Katanga)
Flag of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coat of arms of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coat of arms
Motto: "Justice – Paix – Travail" (French)
"Justice – Peace – Work"
Anthem: Debout Congolais  (French)
"Arise, Congolese"
Location of  Democratic Republic of the Congo  (dark green)
Location of  Democratic Republic of the Congo  (dark green)
and largest city
4°19′S 15°19′E / 4.317°S 15.317°E / -4.317; 15.317
Official languages French & Swahili
Recognised national languages Lingala
Ethnic groups
See Ethnic groups section below
Demonym(s) Congolese
Government Unitary semi-presidential republic
Félix Tshisekedi
Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba
Legislature Parliament
National Assembly
• Colonised
17 November 1879
1 July 1885
15 November 1908
• Independence from Belgium
30 June 1960
• Admitted to the United Nations
20 September 1960
• Renamed to Democratic Republic of Congo
1 August 1964
29 October 1971
• Fall of Mobutu
17 May 1997
• Current constitution
18 February 2006
• Total
2,345,409 km2 (905,567 sq mi) (11th)
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
84,068,091 (16th)
• Density
34.83/km2 (90.2/sq mi)
GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate
• Total
$67.988 billion
• Per capita
GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate
• Total
$40.415 billion
• Per capita
Gini (2006)  44.4
HDI (2018) Increase 0.470
low · 176th
Currency Congolese franc (CDF)
Time zone UTC+1 to +2 (WAT and CAT)
Driving side right
Calling code +243
ISO 3166 code CD
Internet TLD .cd
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 (French: République démocratique du Congo), commonly referred to as DR Congo, Congo-Kinshasa or the DRC, is a country in central Africa. It was known as Zaïre from 1971 to 1997. 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.


When the Belgian Congo became independent, its leaders fought each other. The Soviet Union and later the United Nations helped destroy the groups who wanted independence from the new country.

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 of the CAR is Kinshasa.

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


The country is divided into twenty six provinces. The provinces are then divided into districts. The districts are divided into territories.

Provinces de la République démocratique du Congo - 1964
  1. Kinshasa
  2. Kongo Central
  3. Kwango
  4. Kwilu Province
  5. Mai-Ndombe Province
  6. Kasaï Province
  7. Kasaï-Central
  8. Kasaï-Oriental
  9. Lomami Province
  10. Sankuru
  11. Maniema
  12. South Kivu
  13. North Kivu
  14. Ituri Province
  15. Haut-Uele
  16. Tshopo
  17. Bas-Uele
  18. Nord-Ubangi
  19. Mongala
  20. Sud-Ubangi
  21. Équateur
  22. Tshuapa
  23. Tanganyika Province
  24. Haut-Lomami
  25. Lualaba Province
  26. Haut-Katanga Province

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