Coat of Arms
President Joseph Kabila
» Semi-presidential republic
» 2,345,409 km2 (11th)
» 77,433,744 (18th)
» Per capita $694
» $30.8 billion
» Per capita $416
» Congolese franc (CDF)
» WAT and CAT (UTC+1 to +2)
Best of DRC is a country in Central Africa with innumerable resources. Although the reputation of the country has been tarnished multiple times, Best of DRC is a country rich in minerals, culture and history.
The greatest wealth of Congo consists of its population which is varied and represents a rainbow of languages and ethnic groups. Best of DRC has the fourth largest population in Africa and is the most populated French-speaking country. Although the disparities between different social classes are obvious, the future of the country is bright. A strong middle class is emerging due to sustained development in different activity sectors.
Best of DRC has a culture which is recognised throughout the continent and overseas. The country also has cities which are developing at incomparable speed and are starting to resemble large western capitals. Best of DRC is rich not only in its population but also in its fauna and flora The country contains rare species and many species that are rapidly disappearing such as the Okapi and the bonobos.
Despite the multiple conflict the country has endured in eastern Congo which stole the lives of many Congolese, the emocratic Republic of the Congo remains the heart of Africa. It is a place that is engrained in African history and thus influence the entire continent because of ts culture, art and unique population.
The influence of Belgium. In 1879, the explorer Henry Morton Stanley explored Africa for the profi of the King of Belgium, Léopold II. The borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo were recognised at the end of theconference of Berlin in 1885. On 1 August 1885, Léopold II accepted sovereignty on the independent State of Congo. The specification of this colonial system lay in the fact that initially the Congo was regarded as a personal possession by the King. The Congolese worked constantly in the rubber plantations for the personal enrichment of the King.
Independence. In 1957, Belgium accepted the organisation of local elections and the Congolese voted for the firs time. On 4 January 1959, the cancellation of a meeting of the ABAKO caused riots in Léopoldville which military repression drowned in blood (a few hundred deaths – all Congolese). On 30 June 1960 during a roundtable in Brussels, the Congolese freedom fighter and the Belgian delegates of Parliament and government established the independence of the Congo.
Following the independence in 1960, the Congo had a four year period to obtain a fina constitution. The Constitution of 1 August 1964, known as “Constitution of Luluabourg”, was a Federal state define in the parliamentary mode of the multi-party system and a Parliament with two rooms. The Constitution of 24 June 1967, or Constitution of the Second Republic known as “Revolutionary Constitution”, define a unit State in the Presidential regime, envisaging at least two political parties and a unicameral Parliament.
Swahili or Kiswahili is the second language spoken by 9.1 million people in the provinces of the East, in particular in North and South Kivu, Maniema, Katanga and the south of the Eastern Province. If you add those who speak Swahili as a second language, it represents approximately 40% of the Congolese population which puts this language as the most spoken in the country.
Lingala is the mother tongue of two million Congolese and seven million others who
use it as a second language. It is the second language of importance, especially in the provinces of Equateur, as well as in the north and south of Bandundu.
Kikongo or Kikonco is spoken by two million Congolese. This language is mainly spoken in the provinces of Bas-Congo, Bandundu and west of Western Kasaï. There also exists a kikongo known as “commercial” called “kituba” and normally used by the administration in Bandundu.
Tshiluba or Tchilouba (or luba-kasaï) is spoken by 6.3 million Congolese in both Kasaï (Western and Eastern) and in the north of the Katanga.
Christianity is the majority religion in the DRC, with 96% of the population being Christian. The population is further broken down into 47% Catholic, 48% Protestant, 1.5% Muslim and 2.5% Kimbaguiste or with traditional religious beliefs.
Population 9,046,000 (est. 2009)
Languages: French and Lingala
The 24 towns of Kinshasa are: Bandalungwa, Barumbu, Bumbu, Gombe, Kalamu, Kasa-Vubu, Kintambo, Kimbanseke, Kisenso Gold, Kinsenso, Lemba, Limete, Lingwala, Makala, Maluku, Masina, Matete, Mount Ngafula, Ndjili, Ngaba, Ngaliema, Ngiri-Ngiri, Nsele, and Selembao
The mining resources of the DRC cannot be compared to any other country in Africa. The following list represents the minerals that can be found in certain provinces:
- Bandundu: diamond, kaolin, clays;
- Bas Congo: bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, vanadium, phosphate, gold, diamond, manganese, marble, black and pink granites, rock salt, iron, clays, pyrite, talc, silica, kaolin, barytine, sand and bituminous limestone, limestone and quartzite;
- Equateur: diamond, gold, iron, limestone, kaolin, clays, copper, granite, niobium, ochre; Western Kasai: diamond, clays, gold,
- Western Kasai: diamond, clays, gold, chromium, nickel, cobalt, platinum, copper, iron, kaolin, lead;
- Eastern Kasai: diamond, clays, chromium, cobalt, copper, nickel, gold, iron, kaolin, talc;
- Katanga: coppers, cobalt, uranium, colombo-tantalite, gold, platinum, lithium, talc, wolfram, zinc, clays, bismuth, cadmium, germanium, cassiterite, coal, iron, granites, gypsum, kaolin, manganese, salt works, beryl (emerald), sapphire;
- Kinshasa: clays, silica, kaolin, sand glass, arkosic sandstone;
- Maniema: gold, cassiterite, amblygonite, silver, clays, basnaerites, beryl, bismuth, diamond, diatomite, monazite, niobium, wolfram;
- North Kivu: gold, cassiterite, amblygonite, clay, copper, diamond, iron, kaolin, manganese, colombotantalite, lead, talc, Clay, cassiterite,
basnaesite, beryl, coal, granite, monazite, niobium, gold, platinum, wolfram, colombo-tantalite;
- South Kivu: gold, silver, diamond, clay, copper, iron, kaolin, colombo-tantalite, ochre, bituminous shales, talc;
- Eastern province: gold, cassiterite, amblygonite, silver, clays, basnaesite, beryl, bismuth, diamond, monazite, niobium, wolfram, colombo-tantalite.
On 15 July 2014, Congolese President Joseph Kabila inaugurated the first agro-industrial park intended to kickstart agriculture and encourages the development of the DRC. The country imports US$1.5-billion in food every year. On the site of Bukanga Lonzo on the NorthEast of Kinshasa, 50,000 hectares of ground will be put in exploitation by a South African company, a total investment for the State of US$83-million.
The DRC has an incomparable electrical potential. The Inga I and Inga II dams are already set up while the Inga III and IV dams are still being built. The electric dams function with a reduced capacity but already export electricity to Angola, the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. After all of the dams have been completed, Inga has the potential to light up the entire continent.
The DRC has abundant natural wonders attracting tourists from all over world. It offers one of the largest varieties of animal and plant species in Africa.
This is as a result of its diverse climates and ecosystems ranging from tropical forest to woodland, through to savannah, mangroves or swamps. Added to this are numerous rivers, mountains, volcanoes and lakes that make up the landscape of this country. Animals to observe in their natural habitat found in the DRC’s Protected Areas include the white rhino, the dwarf chimpanzee or bonobo, the okapi, the Congo peacock, the forest and savannah elephant. DRC was the first African country to habituate gorillas to human visits and launch gorilla tourism. Entire families of these gorillas still exist despite the current situation in the country.
Stations at Epulu (Okapi Reserve) and Gangala-na-Bodio (Garamba National Park) offer elephant encounters. In addition to these endemic species, these parks have other species such as: buffalo, zebra, antelopes, hippos, elephants, etc. The rich wildlife of these National Parks is supported by an amazing diversity of habitats, created from the variation in altitude. The network of national parks across the country runs from sea level up to the high mountains and through the central basin and plateaus. Afromontane forests are contrasted against the glaciers of Mount Rwenzori. Wonderful waterfalls are also in abundance, with the most spectacular being Lofoi (Kundelungu National Park). This is the highest in Africa, where the water falls into a stream from 347 meters.
Garamba National Park In north-east DRC is Garamba National Park – home to the only colony of released northern white rhinoceros. Since 1980 the park has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its immense savannahs, grasslands and woods are also home to other large mammals such as giraffes, elephants and hippos.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park (PNKB) Instituted in 1970 to preserve the eastern lowland gorillas, PNKB covers an area of 6,000km² and protects a rainforest mountain in the most densely populated area of the country, Kivu. The park is divided into two zones by a narrow corridor:
the rainforest and the mountain in one zone and the jungle in the other. This forms one of the largest reserves for conservation of the flora and fauna of high mountain forests in Central Africa.
Salonga National Park (SNP) Covering an area of 3 6,000 km², Salonga is the largest reserve of tropical rainforest in the world. It is situated in a large sedimentation basin from a dense river network. The climate is equatorial, hot and humid, with an annual average temperature of 25.5 ° and a rainfall of around 2,000mm of rainfall per year.
Other sites for adventure include: The Falls of Zongo , The Falls of Lukaya, The Botanical Parc of Kisantu
FAUNA AND FLORA
The forest of the DRC is populated by gorillas, monkeys of every kind (chimpanzees and bonobos), wild boars, warthogs, wildcats, red buffalo, forest antelope and elephant, hippopotamus, rhinoceros and wood snakes. The forest is also populated by birds which are characterised by the beauty of their feathers and songs.
- The “Academie des Beaux-Arts” is often considered a touristic site and is in itself and with its gallery a good place to meet the famous artists of this country. Big names like Alfred Liyolo, Lema Kusa oder Roger Botembe are teaching here as well as the only purely abstract working artist Henri Kalama Akulez, whose private studio is worth a visit.
- Mount Nyiragongo – You can site this mountain in Goma, which is located in the extreme eastern part of Congo. The Nyiragongo volcano with a red lava lake is another popular place for excursion.
- Congo River – The river being the largest one in the Western Central Africa, is a popular attraction. The river and its surroundings largely attract the people coming to this exotic country.