Dialing code +243
ISO 2 code CD
ISO 3 code COD
Capital Kinshasa
Main Language French
Currency Franc (CDF)
GDP $21.1 billion 117th
Population 70,916,439 19th


Continent Africa
Location Central Africa northeast of Angola
Land 2,345,410 km2 11th
Terrain Vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east
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)
Natural Hazards Vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east
Note: Straddles equator; has 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

Neighbouring Countries

Angola Burundi Central African Republic Republic of the Congo Rwanda South Sudan Tanzania Uganda Zambia


Established as a Belgian colony in 1908 the Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960 but its early years were marred by political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several sham elections as well as through the use of brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion backed by Rwanda and Uganda and fronted by Laurent KABILA. He renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) but in August 1998 his regime was itself challenged by a second insurrection again backed by Rwanda and Uganda. Troops from Angola Chad Namibia Sudan and Zimbabwe intervened to support KABILA's regime. A cease-fire was signed in July 1999 by the DRC Congolese armed rebel groups Angola Namibia Rwanda Uganda and Zimbabwe but sporadic fighting continued. Laurent KABILA was assassinated in January 2001 and his son Joseph KABILA was named head of state. In October 2002 the new president was successful in negotiating the withdrawal of Rwandan forces occupying eastern Congo; two months later the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and establish a government of national unity. A transitional government was set up in July 2003. Joseph KABILA as president and four vice presidents represented the former government former rebel groups the political opposition and civil society. The transitional government held a successful constitutional referendum in December 2005 and elections for the presidency National Assembly and provincial legislatures in 2006. KABILA was inaugurated president in December 2006. The National Assembly was installed in September 2006. Its president Vital KAMERHE was chosen in December. Provincial assemblies were constituted in early 2007 and elected governors and national senators in January 2007.
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Life Expectancy 54.36 years 177th
Median Age 16.4 years 202nd
Birth Rate 42.63 births/1,000 population 10th
Death Rate 11.63 births/1,000 population 41st
Sex Ratio 0.68 male(s)/female 164th
Literacy 67.2% 169th

70.9 million


Roadways 153497 km 32nd
Railways 4007 km 41st
Airports 200 31st
Waterways 15000 km 8th
Heliports None
Airports paved 1 139th


Currency Franc (CDF)
GDP $21.1 billion 117th
GDP per capita (PPP) $300 205th