The Democratic Republic of the Congo, not to be confused for its neighboring country, the Republic of Congo, is often also referred to as DROC, DRC, RDC, DR Congo, and Congo-Kinshasa. The country was first established as a Belgian colony in 1960. The country however managed to gain its independence from the French only to be thrown into what can be described as a period plagued with both social and political instabilities. It all began when Col. Mobutu seized control via a coup in 1965. Mobutu reigned over the Democratic Republic of the Congo for a period of 32 years. His period of rule was scarred with myriad sham elections and the use of force to retain power. Mobutu, with the passing of time, found himself sans power when a rebellion and a civil war replaced him with Laurent Kabila. The rebellion was backed by Democratic Republic of the Congo’s neighbors Rwanda, Uganda, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. The country was named the Democratic Republic of Congo by Laurent Kabila. Unfortunately, however, Laurent Kabila was assassinated in 2001, but was replaced by his son Joseph Kabila. Joseph Kabila continues to be the President of the country now and he is mainly instrumental in restoring peace in the country. Read on to know more on the country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Image: By Francis Hannaway (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Interesting And Fun Facts About Democratic Republic Of The Congo
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in Central Africa, in the northeast of the country of Angola.
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo, in terms of size, is slightly smaller than one-fourth the size of the United States of America.
- The country experiences a tropical climate, but is cooler and drier in its southern highlands and is cooler and wetter in its eastern highlands.
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo is blessed with natural resources like copper, niobium, tantalum, industrial diamonds, gold, zinc, silver, tin, timber, uranium, coal, and manganese.
- Did you know that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the third-largest country in Africa?
- Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, the Angolan enclave Cabinda and the Republic of Congo are its neighbouring countries.
- Although the country is one of the largest countries in Africa, it only has a coastline of around 17 miles. The coastline is at the outline of the Congo River, which in turn flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo is noted for its varying geographical features. The country has mountain ranges in its north and west, volcanoes and lakes in its Kivu region (a central plain through which the mighty Congo flows).
- French is the official language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo while Lingala, Kikongo, Tshiluba and Swahili are recognized as regional languages.
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo functions under a semi-presidential republic and is currently headed by President Joseph Kabila and Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito.
- The Congolese Franc (CDF) is the official currency of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Kinshasa is the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kinshasa also enjoys the distinction of being the largest city in the country.
- The Democratic Republic of Congo was formerly known as the Belgian Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, Congo Free State, Congo-Leopoldville, and Zaire. Zaire, out of all the previous names, was arguably the most famous.
- The country celebrates its ‘Independence Day’ on 30th June every year. Democratic Republic of Congo received its independence from Belgium on 30th June, 1960.
- Did you know that the Democratic Republic of the Congo with its strong population of 68 million, is the eighteenth most populous country in the world and most populous country where French is an official language?