Form of Government: Republic
Area: 2 345 410 sq km
Population: 86 025 000 inhab. (estimate 2015)
Density: 36.68 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 5° N - 13° S; long. 12° - 31° E
Capital: Kinshasa (capital) 11 575 000 inhab. (2015);
Currency: Congolese franc (100 centimes)
Human development index: 0.435 (rank: 176)
President: Joseph Kabila, since 26 January 2001, elected 15 November 2006, re-elected 28 November 2011
Prime Minister: Bruno Tshibala (UDPS), since 7 April 2017
National Assembly: seats based on the elections of 28 November 2011: PPRD (People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy), 62; UDPS (Union for Democracy and Social Progress), 41; PPPD (People's Party for Peace and Democracy), 29; MSR (Social Movement for Renewal), 27; MLC (Movement for the Liberation of Congo), 22; PALU (Unified Lumumbist Party), 19; others, 300
Internet: //ins-rdc.org (Institut National de la Statistique)
Member of AU, COMESA, SADC, UN, WTO

Congo, Dem. Rep.

République Démocratique du Congo
Useful information

International license plate code CD
International dialling code 00243
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required); malaria prophylaxis (recommended)
Electricity (Voltage) 220
Driving side rigth
Internet code .cd

GMT Kinshasa +1; Lubumbashi +2
DST Kinshasa not applied; Lubumbashi not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Kinshasa 25.2
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Kinshasa 26/22
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Kinshasa 5/4
Annual average precipitation (mm) Kinshasa 1385
Days of rainfall (annual average) Kinshasa 83

Politics and current affairs

The elections, set for November 2016 and postponed to 2017, for which president Kabila was unable to re-run, were once again pushed back, setting off new protests. Along with political tensions, there has been an uptick violence in the country’s eastern provinces and in Kasaï.

Geography.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is bordered by the Central African Republic and Southern Sudan to the north, by Uganda to the north-east, by Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the east, by Zambia to the south-east, by Zambia and Angola to the south and by Congo-Brazzaville to the west. The country has a short coastline to the west looking out onto the Atlantic Ocean. The area occupied by the country more or less corresponds to the basin of the River Congo, an extremely vast catchment area covered by tropical rain forests and savanna, rising in the south with the southern African highlands, in the east to the plateau of the Great Lakes, and in the north up to Sudan. The central and western part of the country is made up of plains with an average altitude of between 310 and 430 m, through which the River Congo flows. To the east the plateau is broken in rifts by the Lake Tanganyika and Lake Kivu. The climate in the central part of the country is tropical, becoming milder towards the borders and the coast.

Government


Formerly known as the Belgian Congo, the country was granted independence on 30 June 1960 with a government headed by Patrice Lumumba, the leader of the National Congolese Movement (MNC), a progressive movement. Shortly afterwards, however, civil war broke out, provoked by secessionist movements in Katanga, supported by mining companies and European powers present in central Africa at the time. On the 24 November 1965, General Mobuto Sese Seko assumed full control of the country and on 27 October 1971, he changed the name of the country (to the Republic of Zaire) and instituted a system of one-party rule. The dictatorship of Mobutu ended in May 1997 after the Army for Congolese Liberation led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila with the support of the AFDL (Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire) as well as Rwandan and Angolan armed forces took power. On 17 May 1997, the country was renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo with all powers given over to a transitional parliament made up of 300 deputies appointed by the President. Meanwhile civil war spread through the country with involvement from Rwanda, Burundi and other African states.
In 1999 a UN mission (MONUSCO) was sent into the country, which was nevertheless unable to stop the violence. In January 2001, after the assassination of L.D. Kabila, his son Joseph Kabila was declared President of the transitional parliament. On 30 July 2002, Kabila signed a peace treaty with Rwanda and shortly after Rwandan troops began pulling back. In return, the President agreed to disarm Hutu forces (the Interahamwe) in the country which were threatening Rwandan security. On 6 September 2002, another peace treaty was signed, this time with Uganda which in turn gradually withdrew its troops from Congolese territory. On 1 April 2003, after more than a year of negotiations under the auspices of South Africa, the Sun City Agreement was signed which, as well as drawing up a new transitional constitution, also laid down the timetable for a peace process. On 15 July 2003, a new government of national unity took office, presided over by J. Kabila, leading the country into the 2006-07 elections.
In reality, armed forces have remained active in the east of the country, often supported by neighbouring countries or in war with them, like the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP). The latter, following the arrest of its leader, Laurent Nkunda, at the beginning of 2009, reached an agreement with the government and was integrated into the army, but some of its former members formed the March 23 Movement (M23), with the possible support of Uganda and Rwanda, active in North Kivu from April 2012 to November 2013, when the army, flanked by MONUSCO troops, forced the last rebel groups to surrender. Behind these clashes lies a complex web of interests for the control and division of huge mineral resources, to which neighbouring countries and international mining companies are not extraneous. In the East province militia of Ugandan rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army are active. Since 2016, clashes between the military and rebel militia Kamwina Nsapu have been reported in the Kasai Province.
Based on the new constitution approved on 19 December 2005, the President of the Republic is elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term and can stand for re-election only once. Legislative power is divided between National Assembly, made up of 500 members elected by direct suffrage for five-year terms and the Senate with 180 members, elected indirectly for five-year terms). The eastern provinces are granted a high degree of autonomy.


Justice.
The legal system is based on the Belgian model, with local tribal influences.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force1.9%2015
Army76.7%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Homicides13.4per 100 000 pop.2015
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Kinshasa11 575 000inhab.2015
Lubumbashi2 015 000inhab.2014
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2017)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

The birthrate is extremely high, as are the rates of mortality and infant mortality. Both average age and life expectancy are very low. There are about 4.5 million refugees in some areas due to the on-going war. The principal ethnic group is the Bantus, which can in turn be divided into subgroups (the Luba, Lunda, Kongo and Mongo) all having different cultures and social structures. Small groups of pygmies still live in the heart of the tropical forests.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate42.32016
Death rate9.92016
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
other30.2%1983
Luba18%1983


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Protestant48.1%2010
Catholic47.3%2010


Languages
DESCRIPTION
French (official)
Kikongo
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years41.7%2017
15-29 years29.7%2017


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Economy

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)108.91index2016
Balance of trade3 000M US$2017
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population31 643 631units2017
Active population, Females49.8%2017
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate49.1%2012
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses6 699 023M LCU2016
Revenues6 087 412M LCU2016
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture81.9%2017
industry11.1%2017
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture20.6%2016
industry43.1%2016
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation1 153.3BN LCU2016
International reserves708.2M US$2016
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Agriculture


Primary sector
Agriculture and forests.
The vast majority of the active population is engaged in agriculture. The hot and humid climate combined with the highly fertile soil favours certain industrial crops, particularly coffee, cocoa and tobacco. Of less importance are maize, tea (Kivu) and oil palm. The main foodstuffs, which manage to meet local demand, include cassava, maize, potatoes, bananas, rice and sweet potatoes.
The vast forests supply valuable wood (kambala, limbali, khaya) and rubber.
Livestock and fishing.
Livestock farming is widespread in north-east regions, but output is low and is not enough to satisfy local demand. Fishing is a more important activity and is practiced in the African Great Lakes and the rivers.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land3.53%2015
forests67.3%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley1.0391000 t2016
cereals, total1 539.8161000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava14 677.8091000 t2016
potatoes100.1591000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages26.091000 t2016
carrots and turnips0.4181000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry222.6941000 t2016
beans, green4.5051000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts421.4291000 t2016
sesame seed4.5181000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruits1 186.9111000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa5.631000 t2016
coffee29.7981000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar cane2 191.3331000 t2016
tobacco3.9221000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton28.6451000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
jute7.4731000 t2014
sisal01000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fruits, total2 497.1711000 t2014
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits187.4421000 t2016
grapefruits9.6121000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados65.4591000 t2016
bananas311.0871000 t2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley1.5231000 ha2016
maize1 518.2561000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava1 801.3351000 ha2016
potatoes21.6131000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages1.5141000 ha2016
carrots and turnips0.0491000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry403.3651000 ha2016
beans, green1.0711000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts4951000 ha2016
sesame seed10.3851000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oil palm
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
oil palm fruit178.5571000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cocoa20.7611000 ha2016
coffee76.1081000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar cane48.911000 ha2016
tobacco7.871000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton67.1091000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
jute9.31000 ha2014
sisal01000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits12.1871000 ha2016
grapefruits0.6311000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
avocados9.141000 ha2016
bananas83.4131000 ha2016
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
natural rubber12 758t2016
timber88 148 8512016
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle922.8381000 heads2016
cattle and buffaloes922.8381000 heads2016
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs980.3231000 heads2016
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep900.0941000 heads2016
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats4 045.3561000 heads2016
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds19 2211000 heads2016
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
eggs7.5731000 t2016
hides and skins5.841000 t2013
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
freshwater fishes232 461t2016
marine fishes8 072t2016
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Minerals


Secondary sector
Minerals.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo possesses immense reserves of precious minerals.
The main mining districts are found in the south. The headquarters of Gécamines, the state-owned mining company, are in Katanga. There are considerable amounts of copper reserves, often associated with cobalt (mines around Kolwezi, Lubumbashi, Tenke-Fungurume and Sakania, all in Katanga); refining plants are usually part of the mining sites. The mines in Katanga also extract silver, zinc (in Kipushi), tin (in Manono, Kikondja), coal (fields at Kalemie e Sankishia-Luena) and tungsten. The uranium reserves in Shinkolobwe are significant, as are the radium, magnesium, cadmium, niobium, tantalum and germanium reserves. The principle diamond extraction centres are found in Tshikapa and Mbuiji-Mayi (Kasaï) while gold can be found in many provinces, especially in the Orientale province. Along the Atlantic coast, oil is extracted from the continental shelf.
Energy and industry.
Almost all electrical energy produced is hydroelectric. The power stations at Inga Falls, on the River Congo are no longer fully operational. Industrial plants are concentrated in the Kinshasa area and in the Katanga province. Metal industries include copper works (at Shituru), tin (at Manono), zinc and cadmium (at Kolwezi), and cobalt (at Likasi, Luilu and Shituru). Other industrial plants produce chemicals (at Butembo and Panda) and cement (at Kalemie, Likasi, Lubudi, Lukala and Kakontwe). Muanda has a functioning oil refinery plant.
Other industries include textiles (at Kinshasa, Bukavu, Kalemie, Lubumbashi and Kisangani), leather tanning (at Mbandaka), shoe factories (at Kinshasa), beer and sugar plants (at Kinshasa, Kananga, Isiro, Mbuji-Mayi and Kisangani), oil presses (at Lubumbashi) and fish processing (Kalemie).

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal3.71000 t2015
coal, total3.71000 t2015
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cobalt641000 t2017
columbite-tantalite370t2017
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
diamonds4 6001000 ct2017
diamonds, industrial - ct19 0001000 ct2017
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro8 827M kWh2015
renewable electricity generation99.830%2015
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro2 5901000 kW2015
- thermal341000 kW2015
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation8 852.04M kWh2015
total installed capacity2 6241000 kW2015
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cobalt3.11000 t2015
copper8781000 t2015
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
paints48.51000 t2014
soap10.11000 t2014
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cotton fabrics0.144M m²2014
yarns0.0441000 t2014
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear593 000pairs2014
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley6001000 t2014
cottonseed oil31000 t2014
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes5 667M units2014
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
other paper31000 t2016
paper31000 t2016
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement398.71000 t2015
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufacturing production7 323.6M US$2017
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Trade


Tertiary sector
Foreign trade.
The country’s most important trading partners are China, Zambia, South Africa and Belgium.
Illegal mining is widespread.


Main exports (M US$ - 2017) 
refined copper 2 682, cobalt (metallurgy) 1 891, copper ores 989, chemicals 783, cobalt ores 520, crude oil and petroleum products 410

Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
20177 900M US$ -
20165 400M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
20174 900M US$ -
20164 800M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures60M US$2016
Number of arrivals191 000units2013
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Communications


Transport.
The road network is badly in need of repair and mostly unusable. The railway lines and the waterways are more widely used. The main port is Matadi on the estuary of the River Congo, which is also the end of the rail line from Kinshasa, the focal point for inland navigation of the middle and upper Congo and along its tributaries.

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown4 000 000km flown1999
Civil aviation, passengers carried297.11000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers0.013per 1000 pop.2016
Computers0.2per 1000 pop.2005
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Social and welfare


Education.
Primary education from 6 to 11 is officially compulsory even though a third of the population has no access. Often the few schools that operate are run by churches.

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling9.6years2013
Gross enrolment ratio, primary - Female108index2015
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level414 580units2015
Teachers, secondary level324 324units2015
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds0.8per 1000 pop.2006
Physicians0.1per 1000 pop.2004
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.7% of adults2016
HIV, total2.5%2001
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.02% of GDP2015
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking4.02%2016
Access to electricity17.147%2016
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing2.8%2013
education1.8%2013
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