Democratic Republic of the Congo

République Démocratique you Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Flagge der Demokratische Republik Kongo
Wappen der Demokratischen Republik Kongo
(detail) (detail)
Wahlspruch: “Paix, Justice, Travail”
French for „peace, justice, work “
office language French
capital Kinshasa
system of government Präsidialrepublik, since 1978
president Joseph Kabila
Surface 2.345.410 km ²
number of inhabitants 60.764.490 (conditions July 2005)
population density of 24 inhabitants per km ²
gros domestic product/inhabitant 100 US-$ (2004)
independence from Belgium to 30. June 1960
currency Congo franc
time belt UTC +1 to +2
national anthem Debout Congolais
license number CD
Internet TLD .cd
preselection +243
Karte Afrikas, Demokratische Republik Kongo hervorgehoben
Karte der Demokratischen Republik Kongo

The democratic Republic of the Congo (dt.: [ˈkɔŋgo], frz.: [kɔ̃ˈgo]) (DR the Congo), until 1960 Belgian the Congo, from 1971 to 1997 Zaïre, lies in Central Africa and is at surface and population the third biggest stateAfrica. It borders on the Republic of the Congo, the Central African republic, on the Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia and Angola. It has a short coastal strip at the Atlantic, that the Angolan Exklave Cabindafrom the remainder of the republic separates Angola. National holiday is the 30. June, the anniversary of independence since 1960.

Table of contents


the area of the DR the Congo enclosure as third biggest state of Africa 2.345.411 km ² and thus 6,6-mal is as large as Germany. Itis in Central Africa on the equator.

Approximately 60% of the country take the Congo basin with its tropical rain forests. It is limited in all directions of mountain courses of 500 to 1000 m height. In the south it becomes from the Shabaor Katanga mountain country limits. In the south and the east the mountain courses ascend to high mountains, like the Mitumba mountains and the Kundelungu mountains in the south and the Central African threshold and Virunga volcanos in the east. They reach heights of up to 1200 m and are richat Bodenschätzen such as copper and uranium. The highest collection is in the Ruwenzori mountains (Margherita peak - 5,109 m). In the south and southeast 3 is occurrences of hard coal and at the south border to Zambia is in addition non-ferrous metals,Iron and uranium. In the middle west there are also diamond occurrences.

The largest and longest river, which flows by the DR the Congo, is the Congo at 4.374 km. It rises in the south in the Mitumbagebirge and flows approx. 1,000 km northward,of where it after west southwest is returned. Here also a being end airworthiness directive exists. Subsequently, it forms the border between the DR the Congo and the Congo, before it flows then into the Atlantic. There are further numerous rivers, inin the mountains in the south rise and into the Congo flow. North the only opening represents 40 km long coast to the Congo delta into the ocean to the Atlantic ocean. Here among other things by the Multis oil is promoted. InThe east of the country is the sea-chain of the large African ditch, which forms the east border. In addition belong among other things (from S to N) the Tanganyika lake, the Kiwusee, Eduard lake and the Albert lake. She saves beyond thatwith the most important natural resources of Africa. Here for example natural gas was found. In the east and northeast also gold and tin.

Approx. 2/3 of the surface of the DR the Congo are of the tropical rain and elevator forest covered. South of it is approx. 500 kmbroad strip Feuchtsavanne just like in the N approx. 200 km of broad strips. This distribution is precipitation-conditioned and is based on the internal-tropical Konvergenzzone (ITC).

Important cities are Kinshasa (capital with 7.787.832 inhabitants), Mbuji Mayi (with 806.475 inhabitants), Lubumbashi (with 851.381Inhabitants), Kisangani (with 417.517 inhabitants) and Bukavu (with 201.569 inhabitants)

an extensive list of the cities in the Congo is under list of the cities in the DR the Congo to be seen.


the population consists of twelve ethnical main groups,divide themselves again in 240 smaller groups. The largest subpopulations form for the Congo, Mongo , Luba and Lunda those. They belong to the Bantuvölkern , which form about 80% of the population. 15% descend from the groups of Sudan, thoseone particularly in the north finds. Minorities are the Niloten in the northeast as well as the Pygmäen and Hamiten in the east. The white, mostly Belgian population of the area left to approx. End of the 60's almost completely the country.

The democratic republicThe Congo counts 60.7 millions Inhabitant (2005). The population density amounts to 24 inhabitants per km ². In the last years it came to substantial refugee movements. The population concentrated on the mining district Shaba and the underflow the Congo. 30% the inhabitant livein urban areas.Life expectancy: 49.7 years (men)/52.3 years (women). The capital as well as largest city of the country are Kinshasa with approximately 7.8 millions Inhabitants. Besides there are still eight further cities of considerable size.

Approximately 91% thatBelong to total population on to the Christianity (42% catholic, 25% Protestanten). Besides there are small Muslim (over 3% of the population) and Jewish municipalities as well as approx. 120.000 witnesses Jehovas. The remainder of the population, about 5%, belongs to traditional African religions oralso synkretistischen movements (Christian elements mixed with traditional religions) on.


office language is French. In addition exist four further host languages as well as 200 other languages, which are spoken in the Congo: Lingala (understood about 50% of the population), Kikongo (of30% of the population understood), Kiswahili („Suaheli”, understood about 10% of the population), Chiluba, Luvena, Tshokwe, Gbaya, mono Kituba and. A. The four firstmentioned have the status of national languages.

Demographic development from 1961 to 2003 (after FAO,2004). Population in Tsd. Inhabitants.


major item: History of the democratic Republic of the Congo

original was the country homeland of several kingdoms, among them was outstanding in 14. Century created Kingdom of the Congo, one the largest African commonwealth at all.

With „the discovery” by the Portuguese began after a short phase approximately equal handling between the Congo and Portugal up to the end the 17. Century complete destruction of the kingdom as well as its exploitation and plundering by slave hunter, those after the decaythe Portuguese supremacy by dutchmen and Englishmen one continued.

The Englishman Henry Morton Stanley was it also, as a first European the Congo comprehensively bereiste, its suggestion, to attach the Congo the English colonial empire of the English government was however rejected.The Belgian king Leopold II. however, fascinated by that for a long time, the opportunity wanted to use thoughts to a colonial empire. Since in addition, in Belgium the tendency was rather against colonies, Leopold took in the Congo 1885 as its „private property”. This statusbeyond all international law was singular in whole colonial history. Since with the Congo also all were regarded at the same time its inhabitants as without rights private property, it came with the economic exploitation (see india rubber boom) to (even for this time) such cruel excesses,the fact that they provided as Congo atrocities so mentioned 1908 internationally for attention and indignation and Leopold to the delivery as „normal” colony to the Belgian state forced the Congo.

Conditions improved now a little, but still becamethe Congo and its population exploited by the authoritarian colonial power Belgium. With the independence efforts increasing world-wide in the colonies the pressure grew after national self-determination also in the Congo. After first unrests in the capital and under the pressure of the world publicBelgium at the beginning of withdrew itself 1959 suddenly from the Congo and left a chaos. To 30. June 1960 was proclaimed „the democratic Republic of the Congo”. J. Kasavubu, leader of the Alliance Congolaise (called before 1960 Alliance de Bakongo ABAKO), became a president. Thatimportant Panafrikanist and leaders of the Congolese movement of independence Patrice E. Lumumba became a first Prime Minister of the young country, which he was not able to hold together however due to specialists lacking and in view of secessionistic efforts, in particular at the province Katanga. In particular the continuous interventionsBelgium, the USA, in addition, the Soviet Union led to gradual tearing of the recent nation up. After only 18 months independence putschte the former assistant Lumumbas, Joseph Mobutu, supported from the USA and Belgium against it and established inthe following decades one of the longest and cruelest dictatorships of Africa. Lumumba could escape the detention briefly, however short time was later again seized, its opponent Moïse Tshombé - which Sezessionistenführer in Katanga - delivered and of its forces murders.It is considered as secured that the murder at Lumumba of Belgium and the USA was supported directly. 1971 were renamed the country in Zaire. 1977/78 Shaba invasion. Again an international military relief work took place in favor of the government under Mobutu SeseSeko against invaders from Angola.

The dictatorship Mobutus, which the country destroyed of far, was shaken only 1994, when, heated up among other things by streams of refugees made of Rwanda and Burundi, in the borderland to Rwanda a rebel armed force formed, aforementioned of Laurent Désiré Kabila. For a long time seriously taken, it did not succeed to it 1997, the old, to fall seriously ill and internationally meanwhile isolated Mobutu. Afterwards it designated Zaire into democratic Republic of the Congo over. The conflict-rich phase between 1996 and 2002 becomesalso as Congo war, starting from 1998 „African world war” designates. In January 2001 Kabila fell an assassination attempt to the victim and its son Joseph Kabila „inherited” its position as president of the DR the Congo. Despite the dubious assumption of office seems with Joseph Kabilafor the first time since 1959 a man the Congo to lead, that a pacification and a stabilization of the wrecked nation at least tries. Thereby however the nearly complete decay of the infrastructure, administration and economy of the country stands for it in the way and in particularplundering the extremely raw material-rich east provinces the Congo - in those the centre government nearly completely powerlessly actual by ugandische, Rwandese and forces of Burundi. Several collections and revolts could Kabila so far repel. Whether he will however succeed, thoseterritorial and in the consequence the administrative sovereignty to restore, stands still there.

In the east of the country fights flashed, it came to mass aligning to Uganda in recent time. Since 1998 (to at the beginning of of 2005) became in accordance with data of the internationalRescue Committee 3.8 million humans during arguments by force killed. According to estimations of the UN each day 1,000 humans become victims of acts of violence.

Between that 14. and 16. Dingila got sick to February 2005 on, in Zobia in the northeast 93 patients in the health districtthe lung plague. Physicians without borders fights the outbreak of the illness and tries along the most important connecting roads those to seek out and treat, which fled from fear of an infection from Zobia.


the democratic Republic of the Congois subdivided into ten regions and the capital district. It prevails a strictly centralistic administration. Since that 21. August 2000 exists a provisional parliament with 300 appointed members. Since 1997 is forbidden political parties; the last free parliamentary election took place 1965.

By mismanagement, civil war and corruption the administration and infrastructure of the country disintegrated nearly completely, the territorial sovereignty of the government are not given in the east of the country any longer, numerous raw materials of the appropriate provinces become in particular of the neighboring countries Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi exploited. Due to its instability the DR the Congo is called also state in ruins.

The social system of the country ranks among the worst world.

new condition

to 17. May 2005 adopted the transition parliament the drafta new condition, which is to replace the transition condition of 2003. The efforts of trailers of a föderalistischen system could not be implemented. But the power of the president is limited. The office of a prime minister is furnished, who does not determine from the presidentbecomes, but from the majority parliamentary group in the parliament.

To 18. December 2005 tuned the majority of the 25 millions Voter in a country-wide condition referendum for the acceptance of the new condition. This urn course was the first free choice for 40 years in the Congo(Choice). The president of the independent electoral committee announced to 27. December a provisional result, so 83.08% tuned 16,92% for and against the condition. The election turnout was with approximately 53%. The voting pattern of the population was remarkable in the different provinces.While in the capital Kinshasa tuned straight times 50.29% for the condition, the agreement was to provinces north and south Kivu in those from war concerned about 96,67% and 97,6%. In the conflict died between 1998 and 2002 approximately three million humans.

To 18. February 2006 was set the new condition by president Joseph Kabila into force. To 30. July 2006 elections are to take place. The European Union advises a military employment under strong German participation during and after the choice and has meanwhile inMandate of the security council for this get.

administrative arrangement

see also: Administrative arrangement of the democratic Republic of the Congo

the democratic Republic of the Congo is into ten provinces and a capital district (neutral city, frz. Ville neutre) subdivided. After a new condition ofMay 2005 is to be arranged the country in the future into 25 provinces and the city Kinshasa.

  1. Bandundu
  2. the Bas Congo
  3. Équateur
  4. Kasai Occidental
  5. Kasai Oriental
  6. Katanga
  7. Kinshasa
  8. Maniema
  9. north Kivu
  10. Orientale
  11. south Kivu



although the country over the largestNature wealth of Africa ordered, it belongs to the poorest world. For this are followed main cause more than three decades mismanagement and corruption by the Mobutu - regime, from heavy military conflicts into the present.

The economic growth amounted to from 1965 to 1985 only 1% annually. Since then the restaurant achievement constantly decreases/goes back. 1971 were decided the building of an enormous Stromleitung by the Inga dam in the extreme northwest of the country across the country into the copper region Shaba (Katanga), lying in the southeast.Large firms from the USA and Europe united to a consortium and assigned the credits. 1983 were the official inauguration, but the costs had snapped strongly up.

Beginning of the 1990er years broke down the economy completely. Ithyperinflation ( 1994 7400% ) prevailed. By unrests among the workers the receipts from exports, the infrastructure in the transportation sank disintegrated, the foreign debts rose to 10 billion Euro. The country was afterwards dependent on food imported goods. The gross domestic product amounted to 1998 4,653 millions Euro.

  • Gross national product per inhabitant: 92 euro (conditions 1998)
  • Pro-Kopf-Einkommen in the year (BSP): 100 euro

of Bodenschätze

the mining industry is the most important branch of industry (the Congo also the copper country mentioned). It was 1974 of the drastic purge of the world price for copper heavilyconcerned. Admits is the DR the Congo also for the rich Coltan - occurrences. Coltan contains two of the most in demand Metallerze (columbite and Tantalit), which contain niobium and tantalum. Tantalum is for the production of mobile phones, computer chip, video cameras andvarious devices from the entertainment electronics of of great importance. Niobium serves the production of heatproof construction units for rockets, nozzle jets and space caps.

Further Bodenschätze, which are promoted, are gold, silver, diamond, oil, cobalt (world point), manganese, zinc, Tin, cadmium, germanium and beryllium. These occurrences are one of the reasons, why by the neighbours Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi by occupation of the eastern provinces the civil war on the new are angefacht again and again.


of two thirds of the employed persons population work in the agriculture, which contributes over 30% to the gross domestic product (conditions: 2000). Large areas are agriculturally usable, it however only approximately 3% are cultivated. Haupterzeugnisse are Maniok, fruit, melons, Cook bananas, Zuckerrohr, peanuts, bananas and sweet potatoes. In addition are cultivated to rice , potatoes , leguminous plants , coffee , india rubber , cotton and cocoa.

After in the middle of the 1970er years many smaller Plantagen were put under state control, itself inforeign possession found, decreased/went back the sales of agricultural products noticeably. In many regions there is only a self-support agriculture. Cattle breeding is limited to areas lain more highly. Since the routes of transportation are destroyed, the products cannot into the differentProvinces to be brought and spoiled.


the industrielle sector developed particularly around the processing of the existing Bodenschätze. Importantly are also still the oil refineries as well as the production of cement and sulfuric acid. Important products are Tire, shoes, textiles, cigarettes, food and beer.

The entire range was heavily damaged by the economic fall and above all the racing inflation since 1990. It prevails large foreign exchange shortage, to that the import of raw materials and spare partsprevented.

foreign trade

to beginning of the 1990er years was copper still the most important export article, which brought in half of the annual receipts from exports. Within only three years the copper export was reduced however by three quarters. Today form diamonds, crude oil,Cobalt and coffee the most important export goods. Also the positive commercial balance sheet cannot stop the sinking restaurant achievement. The most important trade partners are Belgium, South Africa, Chile, the USA, Germany and India.

power supply

primary power source the Congo are its hydro-electric power plants. They are to be found particularly in close proximity to mines.


1992 and 2000 the portion of the public expenditures for the health service


  • January Vansina: The Children OF Woot: A History OF the Cuba Peoples. Wisconsin 1978. ISBN 0299074900
  • the Congo - history of a maltreated country. In: “World mission today 55 - land booklet”. Hamburg 2004.
  • George Nzongola: Ntalaja: TheCongo from Leopold ton of Kabila. A People's History. London/New York 2002.
  • Peter Körner: Zaire - indebtedness crisis and IWF intervention in an African Kleptokratie. Hamburg 1988.
  • Adam high sign: Shade over the Congo - the history of a nearly forgotten mankind crime.Reinbek 2002.ISBN 3499613123
  • Ludo De Witte: Order for government murder: death Lumumbas and the Congo crisis. Leipzig 2001. ISBN 3931801098
  • Michaela Wrong: On the traces of Mr. Kurtz: Mobutus ascent and of the Congo case. Berlin 2002.
  • Lieve Joris: Das schwarze Herz Afrikas – Meine erste Reise in den Kongo. Amsterdam 1987/Munich 2002.
  • Lieve Joris: The dance of the leopard - my African diary. Amsterdam 2001/Munich 2003.
  • Olivier Lanotte: Guerres Sans Frontières - RépubliqueDémocratique you Congo. Brussels 2003. ISBN 2-87027-835-7
  • Urs Widmer: In the Congo, novel, ISBN 3257230109

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Coordinates: 5°N - 13°S, 12°-31° O


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