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Congo, Democratic Republic of the (2001)

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Congo, Democratic Republic of the 2001 year

 Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Administrative divisions 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
Age structure 0-14 years:
48.24% (male 12,988,488; female 12,878,232)

15-64 years:
49.21% (male 12,931,886; female 13,459,109)

65 years and over:
2.55% (male 575,113; female 791,890) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, quinine, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, bananas, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products
Airports 232 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

over 3,047 m:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:
2 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
92 (2000 est.)
Area total:
2,345,410 sq km

2,267,600 sq km

77,810 sq km
Area - comparative slightly less than one-fourth the size of the US
Background Since 1994 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 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, but sporadic fighting continued. KABILA was assassinated in January 2001 and his son Joseph KABILA was named head of state. The new president quickly began overtures to end the war.
Birth rate 46.02 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$269 million

$244 million, including capital expenditures of $24 million (1996 est.)
Capital Kinshasa
Climate 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
Coastline 37 km
Constitution 24 June 1967, amended August 1974, revised 15 February 1978, amended April 1990; transitional constitution promulgated in April 1994; in November 1998, a draft constitution was approved by former President Laurent KABILA but it has not been ratified by a national referendum
Country name conventional long form:
Democratic Republic of the Congo

conventional short form:

local long form:
Republique Democratique du Congo

local short form:

Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo/Leopoldville, Congo/Kinshasa, Zaire

Currency Congolese franc (CDF)
Death rate 15.15 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $13 billion (1998 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador William Lacy SWING

310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa

mailing address:
Unit 31550, APO AE 09828

[243] (12) 21804, 21807

[243] (88) 43805
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Faida MITIFU

1800 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

[1] (202) 234-7690, 7691

[1] (202) 234-2609
Disputes - international the Democratic Republic of the Congo is in the grip of a civil war that has drawn in military forces from neighboring states, with Uganda and Rwanda supporting the rebel movements that occupy much of the eastern portion of the state; most of the Congo river boundary with the Republic of the Congo is indefinite (no agreement has been reached on the division of the river or its islands, except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area)
Economic aid - recipient $195.3 million (1995)
Economy - overview The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - a nation endowed with vast potential wealth - has declined drastically since the mid-1980s. The new government instituted a tight fiscal policy that initially curbed inflation and currency depreciation, but these small gains were quickly reversed when the foreign-backed rebellion in the eastern part of the country began in August 1998. The war has dramatically reduced national output and government revenue and has increased external debt. Foreign businesses have curtailed operations due to uncertainty about the outcome of the conflict and because of increased government harassment and restrictions. The war has intensified the impact of such basic problems as an uncertain legal framework, corruption, raging inflation, and lack of openness in government economic policy and financial operations. A number of IMF and World Bank missions have met with the government to help it develop a coherent economic plan but associated reforms are on hold.
Electricity - consumption 4.55 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 404 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 55 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 5.268 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point:
Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m
Environment - current issues poaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation; refugees who arrived in mid-1994 were responsible for significant deforestation, soil erosion, and wildlife poaching in the eastern part of the country (most of those refugees were repatriated in November and December 1996)
Environment - international agreements party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified:
Environmental Modification
Ethnic groups 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
Exchange rates Congolese francs per US dollar - 50 (January 2001), 4.5 (January 2000), 4.02 (1999), 1.61 (1998), 1.31 (1997), 0.50 (1996)

on 30 June 1998 the Congolese franc was introduced, replacing the new zaire
Executive branch chief of state:
Joseph KABILA (since 26 January 2001); note - the president succeeded his father Laurent Desire KABILA after his assassination on 16 January 2001; as president he is both chief of state and head of government

head of government:
Joseph KABILA (since 26 January 2001); note - the president succeeded his father Laurent Desire KABILA after his assassination on 16 January 2001; as president he is both chief of state and head of government

National Executive Council, appointed by the president

before Laurent Desire KABILA seized power, 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, the prime minister was elected by the High Council of the Republic; note - elections were not held in 1991 as called for by the constitution

election results:
results of the last election were: MOBUTU Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga reelected president in 1984 without opposition

Marshal MOBUTU Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga was president from 24 November 1965 until forced into exile on 16 May 1997 when his government was overthrown militarily by Laurent Desire KABILA, who immediately assumed governing authority; KABILA pledged to hold elections by April 1999, but in December 1998 announced that elections would be postponed until all foreign military forces attempting to topple the government had withdrawn from the country; KABILA was assassinated in January 2001 and was succeeded by his son Joseph KABILA
Exports 404 million kWh (1999)
Exports $960 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities diamonds, copper, coffee, cobalt, crude oil
Exports - partners Benelux 62%, US 18%, South Africa, Finland, Italy (1999)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description 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
GDP purchasing power parity - $31 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


25% (1997 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $600 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate -15% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 0 00 N, 25 00 E
Geography - note straddles Equator; 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
Highways total:
157,000 km (including 30 km of expressways)(1996)

NA km

NA km
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Illicit drugs illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for domestic consumption
Imports 55 million kWh (1999)
Imports $660 million (c.i.f., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels
Imports - partners South Africa 28%, Benelux 14%, Nigeria 9%, Kenya 7%, China (1999)
Independence 30 June 1960 (from Belgium)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries mining (diamonds, copper, zinc), mineral processing, consumer products (including textiles, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods and beverages), cement
Infant mortality rate 99.88 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 540% (2000 est.)
International organization participation ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, CEEAC, CEPGL, ECA, FAO, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 2 (2000)
Irrigated land 100 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Cour Supreme
Labor force 14.51 million (1993 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 65%, industry 16%, services 19% (1991 est.)
Land boundaries total:
10,744 km

border countries:
Angola 2,511 km, Burundi 233 km, Central African Republic 1,577 km, Republic of the Congo 2,410 km, Rwanda 217 km, Sudan 628 km, Tanzania 473 km, Uganda 765 km, Zambia 1,930 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

13% (1993 est.)
Languages French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba
Legal system based on Belgian civil law system and tribal law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch a 300-member Transitional Constituent Assembly established in August 2000

NA; members of the Transitional Constituent Assembly were appointed by former President KABILA
Life expectancy at birth total population:
48.94 years

46.96 years

50.98 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba

total population:


67.7% (1995 est.)
Location Central Africa, northeast of Angola
Map references Africa
Maritime claims exclusive economic zone:
boundaries with neighbors

territorial sea:
12 NM
Merchant marine none (2000 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force, Special Presidential Security Group
Military expenditures - dollar figure $250 million (FY97)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 4.6% (FY97)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
11,615,554 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
5,915,251 (2001 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 30 June (1960)
Nationality noun:
Congolese (singular and plural)

Congolese or Congo
Natural hazards periodic droughts in south; volcanic activity
Natural resources cobalt, copper, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, coal, hydropower, timber
Net migration rate 0.14 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

one million refugees fled into Zaire (now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo or DROC) in 1994 to escape the fighting between the Hutus and the Tutsis; fighting in the DROC between rebels and government forces in October 1996 caused 875,000 refugees to return to Rwanda in late 1996 and early 1997; an additional 173,000 Rwandan refugees disappeared in early 1997 and are assumed to have been killed by Zairian forces; 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 displaced in DROC and caused 300,000 Congolese refugees to flee to surrounding countries
Pipelines petroleum products 390 km
Political parties and leaders Democratic Social Christian Party or PDSC [Andre BO-BOLIKO]; Popular Movement of the Revolution or MPR [leader NA]; 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 [Kouyoumba MUCHULI Mulembe]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 53,624,718

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 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 3.1% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Banana, Boma, Bukavu, Bumba, Goma, Kalemie, Kindu, Kinshasa, Kisangani, Matadi, Mbandaka
Radio broadcast stations AM 3, FM 12, shortwave 1 (1999)
Radios 18.03 million (1997)
Railways total:
5,138 km (1995)

severely reduced route-distance in use because of damage to facilities by civil strife

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 (2000)
Religions Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslim 10%, other syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs 10%
Sex ratio 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:
0.73 male(s)/female

total population:
0.98 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Telephone system general assessment:

barely adequate wire and microwave radio relay service in and between urban areas; domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations

satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 21,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 8,900 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 20 (1999)
Terrain vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east
Total fertility rate 6.84 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways 15,000 km (including the Congo and its tributaries, and unconnected lakes)
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