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  Congo, Democratic Republic of the  
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Map of Congo, Democratic Republic of the

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Since 1997, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC; formerly called Zaire) has been rent by ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow in 1994 of refugees from the fighting in Rwanda and Burundi. The government of former president MOBUTU Sese Seko was toppled by a rebellion led by Laurent KABILA in May 1997; his regime was subsequently challenged by a Rwanda- and Uganda-backed rebellion in August 1998. Troops from Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad, and Sudan intervened to support the Kinshasa regime. A cease-fire was signed on 10 July 1999 by the DROC, Zimbabwe, Angola, Uganda, Namibia, Rwanda, and Congolese armed rebel groups, but sporadic fighting continued. KABILA was assassinated on 16 January 2001 and his son Joseph KABILA was named head of state ten days later. In October 2002, the new president was successful in getting occupying Rwandan forces to withdraw from eastern Congo; two months later, an agreement was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and set up a government of national unity.

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   Geography    Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Central Africa, northeast of Angola
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
0 00 N, 25 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,345,410 sq km
land: 2,267,600 sq km
water: 77,810 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly less than one-fourth the size of the US
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 10,730 km
border countries: Angola 2,511 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of Angola's discontiguous Cabinda Province), Burundi 233 km, Central African Republic 1,577 km, Republic of the Congo 2,410 km, Rwanda 217 km, Sudan 628 km, Tanzania 459 km, Uganda 765 km, Zambia 1,930 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
37 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: boundaries with neighbors
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and drier in southern highlands; cooler and wetter in eastern highlands; north of Equator - wet season April to October, dry season December to February; south of Equator - wet season November to March, dry season April to October
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
cobalt, copper, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, coal, hydropower, timber
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 2.96%
permanent crops: 0.52%
other: 96.52% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
110 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
periodic droughts in south; Congo River floods (seasonal); in the east, in the Great Rift Valley, there are active volcanoes
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
poaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation; refugees responsible for significant deforestation, soil erosion, and wildlife poaching; mining of minerals (coltan - a mineral used in creating capacitors, diamonds, and gold) causing environmental damage
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
straddles equator; has very narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River and is only outlet to South Atlantic Ocean; dense tropical rain forest in central river basin and eastern highlands

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   People    Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
58,317,930
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 48.2% (male 14,122,237; female 14,008,654)
15-64 years: 49.3% (male 14,097,301; female 14,646,285)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 590,262; female 853,191) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 15.8 years
male: 15.4 years
female: 16.2 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.99% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
44.73 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14.64 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.17 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: fighting between the Congolese Government and Uganda- and Rwanda-backed Congolese rebels spawned a regional war in DROC in August 1998, which left 1.8 million Congolese internally displaced and caused 300,000 Congolese refugees to flee to surrounding countries (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 94.69 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 103.18 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 85.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 49.14 years
male: 47.06 years
female: 51.28 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.62 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.1 million (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
100,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslim 10%, other syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs 10%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba
total population: 65.5%
male: 76.2%
female: 55.1% (2003 est.)

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   Government    Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Democratic Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: none
local long form: Republique Democratique du Congo
local short form: none
former: Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo/Leopoldville, Congo/Kinshasa, Zaire
abbreviation: DROC
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
dictatorship; presumably undergoing a transition to representative government
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Kinshasa
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
10 provinces (provinces, singular - province) and one city* (ville); Bandundu, Bas-Congo, Equateur, Kasai-Occidental, Kasai-Oriental, Katanga, Kinshasa*, Maniema, Nord-Kivu, Orientale, Sud-Kivu
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
30 June 1960 (from Belgium)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 30 June (1960)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
a new constitution was adopted 17 July 2003
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Belgian civil law system and tribal law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Joseph KABILA (since 26 January 2001); note - following the assassination of his father, Laurent Desire KABILA, on 16 January 2001, Joseph KABILA succeeded to the presidency; the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Joseph KABILA (since 26 January 2001); note - following the assassination of his father, Laurent Desire KABILA, on 16 January 2001, Joseph KABILA succeeded to the presidency; the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: National Executive Council, appointed by the president
elections: prior to the overthrow of MOBUTU Sese Seko, the president was elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 29 July 1984 (next was scheduled to be held in May 1997); formerly, there was also a prime minister who was elected by the High Council of the Republic; note - a Transitional Government is drafting a new constitution with free elections scheduled to be held in NA 2005
election results: results of the last election were: MOBUTU Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga reelected president in 1984 without opposition
note: Joseph KABILA succeeded his father, Laurent Desire KABILA, following the latter's assassination in January 2001, negotiations with rebel leaders led to the establishment of a transitional government in July 2003 with free elections scheduled to be held in NA 2005
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
a 300-member Transitional Constituent Assembly established in August 2000
elections: NA; members of the Transitional Constituent Assembly were appointed by former President Laurent Desire KABILA
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Democratic Social Christian Party or PDSC [Andre BO-BOLIKO]; Forces for Renovation for Union and Solidarity or FONUS [Joseph OLENGHANKOY]; National Congolese Lumumbist Movement or MNC [Francois LUMUMBA]; Popular Movement of the Revolution or MPR (three factions: MPR-Fait Prive [Catherine NZUZI wa Mbombo]; MPR/Vunduawe [Felix VUNDUAWE]; MPR/Mananga [MANANGA Dintoka Mpholo]); Unified Lumumbast Party or PALU [Antoine GIZENGA]; Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Etienne TSHISEKEDI wa Mulumba]; Union of Federalists and Independent Republicans or UFERI (two factions: UFERI [Lokambo OMOKOKO]; UFERI/OR [Adolph Kishwe MAYA])
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, CEPGL, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OPCW (signatory), PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Faida MITIFU
chancery: 1800 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-7690, 7691
FAX: [1] (202) 234-2609
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Aubrey HOOKS
embassy: 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa
mailing address: Unit 31550, APO AE 09828
telephone: [243] (88) 43608
FAX: [243] (88) 43467
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
light blue with a large yellow five-pointed star in the center and a columnar arrangement of six small yellow five-pointed stars along the hoist side

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   Economy    Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - a nation endowed with vast potential wealth - has declined drastically since the mid-1980s. The war, which began in August 1998, has dramatically reduced national output and government revenue, has increased external debt, and has resulted in the deaths from war, famine, and disease of perhaps 3.5 million people. Foreign businesses have curtailed operations due to uncertainty about the outcome of the conflict, lack of infrastructure, and the difficult operating environment. The war has intensified the impact of such basic problems as an uncertain legal framework, corruption, inflation, and lack of openness in government economic policy and financial operations. Conditions improved in late 2002 with the withdrawal of a large portion of the invading foreign troops. Several IMF and World Bank missions have met with the government to help it develop a coherent economic plan, and President KABILA has begun implementing reforms. Much economic activity lies outside the GDP data. Economic stability, aided by international donors, improved in 2003. New mining contracts have been approved, which - combined with high mineral and metal prices - could improve Kinshasa's fiscal position and GDP growth.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $40.05 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.5% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $700 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 55%
industry: 11%
services: 34% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14.51 million (1993 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2003 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $269 million
expenditures: $244 million, including capital expenditures of $24 million (1996 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, quinine, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, bananas, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
mining (diamonds, copper, zinc), mineral processing, consumer products (including textiles, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods and beverages), cement
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.243 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.839 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
1.097 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
60 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
24,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.538 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
104.8 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.417 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
diamonds, copper, crude oil, coffee, cobalt
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Belgium 55.6%, US 15.6%, Zimbabwe 11.2%, Finland 4.9% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$933 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
South Africa 16.1%, Belgium 14.1%, France 11.9%, Nigeria 10.7%, Germany 6.5%, Kenya 5.1% (2003 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$11.6 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$195.3 million (1995)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Congolese franc (CDF)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
CDF
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Congolese francs per US dollar - NA (2003), 346.485 (2002), 206.617 (2001), 21.82 (2000), 4.02 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year

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   Communications    Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1 million (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: poor
domestic: barely adequate wire and microwave radio relay service in and between urban areas; domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations
international: country code - 243; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 3, FM 11, shortwave 2 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
4 (2001)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.cd
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
153 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
50,000 (2002)

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   Transportation    Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 5,138 km
narrow gauge: 3,987 km 1.067-m gauge (858 km electrified); 125 km 1.000-m gauge; 1,026 km 0.600-m gauge (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 157,000 km (including 30 km of expressways)
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km (1999 est.)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
15,000 km (navigation on the Congo has been curtailed by fighting) (2004)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 54 km; oil 71 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Banana, Boma, Bukavu, Bumba, Goma, Kalemie, Kindu, Kinshasa, Kisangani, Matadi, Mbandaka
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
none
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
230 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 24
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 206
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 92
under 914 m: 97 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 12,706,971 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 6,480,645 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$115.5 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.4% (2003)

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   Transnational Issues    Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Democratic Republic of the Congo is in the grip of a civil war, tribal conflict, and rebel gang fighting that has drawn in neighboring states of Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda; in the Great Lakes region and Sudan, heads of the Great Lakes states and UN pledge to end conflict, but unchecked localized violence continues unabated; the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Republic of the Congo is indefinite except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for domestic consumption; while rampant corruption and inadequate supervision leaves the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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