Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo (République Démocratique du Congo), former Belgian Congo (being a Belgian colony) and Zaire until 1997, is located at the heart of Africa.

Its population is around 70.000.000 (2009 estimate) and its total area is 2,345,410 square kilometers (Wikipedia). It is named after the river Congo that runs across the country and is its blessing. Congo River is the second longest after the Nile and the second worldwide after the Amazon.

 

The official language of Congo is French, while 200-300 dialects are spoken. Seventy percent of the population belongs to the ethnic group ‘Bantu’, meaning “people”. Kongo, Beba, Balouba, Luba are some of the peoples that live in Congo.

It is a very rich country, perhaps the richest in the world regarding natural resources and mines. This is why it has long been targeted by international interests and found at the epicenter of invasions and civil wars.

 

The capital of Congo is Kinshasa, the only city-province of the country, which is divided in 10 administrative provinces. The largest cities are Lubumbashi, Kisangani, Kivu, Mbuji-Mayi, Kolwezi, Kananga, Likasi. The country gained its independency in 1960.

Many things have changes since in Congo and in Africa in general, despite the hardships.

The general picture that Europeans have about Congo, is one of great poverty, misery, disease and chaos.

 

They just can’t imagine that there might be a different way of thinking; a different social structure and a different lifestyle overall.

Congo may still suffer, but people are dedicated to work for growth and production.