The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes anachronistically referred to by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 199
Congo is one of six African states that straddle the equator; it’s the largest African state that has the equator passing through it. A very narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River and is the only outlet to South Atlantic Ocean; dense tropical rainforest in the central river basin and eastern highlands.
Key cities in Congo include: Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Mbuji-Mayi, Kananga, Bukavu, Goma, Kisangani, Kolwezi, Likasi.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
In 1870, explorer Henry Morton Stanley arrived in and explored what is now DR Congo. Belgian colonization of DR Congo began in 1885 when King Leopold II founded and ruled the Congo Free State. … After an uprising by the Congolese people, Belgium surrendered and this led to the independence of the Congo in 1960.
Roman Catholic 50%, Islam 10%, Protestant 20%, indigenous beliefs 10% and Kimbanguist 10%. Christianity is the majority religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by more than 90% of the population. Denominations include Roman Catholic 42.8%, Protestant 38% and other Christian denominations (including Kimbanguist) 12%.
Brief Country History
The history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the 18th largest country in the world, is fraught with violence, conflict and exploitation. From the personal colony of King Leopold II of Belgium to the dictator Joseph Mobutu’s personal piggy bank, to a country divided by a twenty-year civil war, the DRC has a history of division and conflict. As a result, refugees from the DRC have fled all over the world. Gilbert Munda works with child soldiers, a particular type of enslaved person, in the DRC. Helping them to try and rebuild their lives, he tries to reintegrate them into society.
In the 19th Century, as colonial fervor reached its peak, King Leopold II of Belgium gained personal control of what is now the country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It was given to him as part of the Berlin Conference of 1885, which divided up and formalized much of the colonial expansion that had occurred—paving the way for the tail-end of the so-called scramble for Africa. In one of history’s great ironies, an express humanitarian justification was given for the appropriation: the ending of slavery by Arab traders. Far from ending slavery, Leopold’s brutal reign institutionalized it. Rubber was the most profitable crop, and unmet quotas were penalized severely: a limb was amputated. Belgium took over the colony in the early 1900s in response to international pressure.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a multilingual country where an estimated total of 242 languages are spoken. The official language is French. Four indigenous languages have the status of national language: Kituba (called “Kikongo”), Lingala, Swahili and Tshiluba.
Bantu language is spoken mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in the Republic of. Lingala was first written by missionaries in about 1900.
Important Types of Commerce in Congo
Petroleum extraction, lumbering, cement manufacturing, breweries, vegetable oil, cigarette making, and sugar production are the important industries in Congo. The contribution of agriculture towards GDP is over 5%. Forestry is the principal agricultural activity of this African country.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Congo
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