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CONGO (DRC)

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ABOUT CONGO (DRC) 

Also often referred to as DRC, RDC, Congo-Kinshasa or Congo, and formerly as Zaire,is the third largest country, by area, on the African continent. Though it is located in the Central African UN sub region, the nation is economically and regionally affiliated with Southern Africa as a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The country enjoys access to the sea through a narrow forty kilometre stretch, following the Congo river into the Gulf of Guinea. The name "Congo" (meaning "hunter") is coined after the Bakongo ethnic group, living in the Congo river basin. Actually Congo first president, Mr. Joseph Kasavubu, was from Kongo ethnic group.
Formerly the Belgian colony of the Belgian Congo, the country's post-independence name was the Republic of the Congo until August 1, 1964, when its name was changed to Democratic Republic of the Congo (to distinguish it from the neighbouring country of the same name). On October 27, 1971, then-President Mobutu Sese Seko renamed the country Zaire, from a Portuguese mispronunciation of the Kikongo word nzere or nzadi, which translates to "the river that swallows all rivers." Following Mobutu's overthrow in 1997, the country was renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • Capital:
    - Kinshasa
  • Area:
    - Total: 2,344,858 km² (12th) 905,351 sq mi
    - Water (%): 3.3
  • Independence:
    - from Belgium: June 30, 1960
  • Official languages:
    - French (official), Kikongo, Lingala, Swahili and Tshiluba (national)
  • Population:
    - 2006 estimate: 59,319,660 (23rd)
    - 1984 census: 29,916,800
    - Density: 25/km² (179th) 65/sq mi
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