The Democratic Republic of the Congo – The Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo v. The Republic of the Congo

Video: Democratic Republic of Congo vs Republic of Congo – difference and comparison


The Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo are two different countries located in Central Africa.

At the end of the 15th century, the Congo Delta was a major trading center. This is the period when the people of the Congo Delta first came into contact with Europeans. Leopold II of Belgium acquired rights to the territory of the Congo (Zaire region) at the Berlin Conference in 1885 and made the land his private property and named it the Free State of the Congo. In 1908 it was taken over by the Belgian government, and was then called the Belgian Congo. On June 30, 1960, it gained independence under the name Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the 1880s, the French made the Middle Congo (present-day Congo) their colony and named Brazzaville their capital. On August 15, 1960, it gained independence and chose the name “Republic of Congo.”

To avoid confusion, the countries were usually called Congo-Leopoldville and Congo-Brazzaville with reference to their capital. Sometimes Congo-Leopoldville was called Congo and Congo-Brazzaville was simply Congo. On June 1, 1966, Mobutu renamed Leopoldville to Kinshasa. The country was then called the Democratic Republic of the Congo – Kinshasa.

Comparative table

Comparative table of Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo Republic of Congo
current rating 3.05 / 5 (111 ratings) current rating 3.37 / 5 (103 ratings)
Capital (and largest city) Kinshasa: 4° 24’S, 15° 24’E. Brazzaville: 4° 14′S, 15° 14′E.
Independence Day June 30, 1960. August 15, 1960.
population 62,636,000 (21st) (2007 estimate) 3,999,000 (125th place) (2005 estimate)
Independence from Belgium France
Phone code +243 +242321
Internet domain .CD .cg
Time zone WAT, CAT (UTC + 1 to +2) WAT
currency Congolese franc (CDF) Central African franc CFA (XAF)
HDI (2004) 0.391 (low) (167th) 0.520 (medium) (140th)
Official languages French French
Recognized regional languages Lingala, Congo/Kituba, Swahili, Chiluba Congo / Kituba, Lingala
Demonim Congolese Congolese
Government Semi-presidential Republic Republic
Government: President Joseph Kabila Denis Sassou Nguesso
Government: Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga Isidore Mvuba
Area: Total 2,344,858 km² (12th) 905,351 sq mi. 342,000 km² (64th) 132,047 sq. miles
Area: Water (%) 3.3 3.3
Population density 25 / km² (179th) 65 / sq mi 12 / km² (204th) 31 / sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2005 estimate. 2005 estimate.
GDP (PPP): Total $46.491 billion1 (78th place) $4.585 billion (154th place)
GDP (PPP): Per capita 774 $ (174-е) 1369 $ (161-я)
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Map of Africa. The DRC is roughly in the center and the Republic of Congo in the west.

The two countries are neighbors: the DRC is the largest of the two countries, and the Republic of Congo is to the west of it. The DRC borders Angola, the South Atlantic Ocean, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania via Lake Tanganyika, and Zambia.

The CD has the Democratic Republic of Congo to the southeast, Gabon to the west, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic to the north. It has a short Atlantic Ocean coastline.

Administrative Districts.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is divided into 10 provinces and one city. The city is Kinshasa, and its provinces are Lower Congo, Equatorial, Kasai Occidental, Kasai Oriental, Katanga, Maniema, North Kivu, East Kivu and South Kivu.

The Republic of Congo is divided into 12 departments. These are Bouenza, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lékoumou, Brazzaville, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pool, Sangha, and Pointe Noire. The departments are divided into communes and/or districts.

Other names

The Democratic Republic of Congo was formerly known (in chronological order) as the Free State of Congo, Belgian Congo, Congo-Leopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa, and Zaire (in French Zaire). These former names are sometimes mentioned as unofficial names, except for the discredited Mobutu Zaire, together with various acronyms, e.g., Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo and DRC.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (République Démocratique du Congo ) (1971-1997 – the Republic of Zaire; 1960-1964 – the Republic of Kôngo) is a Central African country bordering the Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia and Angola, including the Angolan enclave of Cabinda. Until 1960, the Democratic Republic of Congo was a Belgian colony.

It is the second (after Algeria) by area and the fourth (after Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Egypt) by population in Africa. It is a member of the UN, African Union, Southern African Development Community, and the international organization ACP.

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Table of Contents


The Congo’s earliest inhabitants were Pygmies. In the II millennium BC the land cultivating Bantu tribes began to migrate from the north and brought with them agriculture, metallurgy and the first state formations. The most important among them was the Congo, which emerged around the 14th century and which also covered the north of Angola. The rulers of this state had the title of Mani Kongi and the capital was the city of Mbanza Kongo (San Salvador). In the late 15th century the Portuguese arrived at the mouth of the Congo River. The main income of the Congo was the slave trade with European countries, especially Portugal. Congolese slaves were used in the plantations of America. In 1876 the Belgians entered the country. In 1908 the country became a Belgian colony.

In 1959 the National Congo Movement headed by Patrice Lumumba won the elections for the local parliament and on June 30, 1960 the country gained independence under the name of the Republic of Congo. On October 27, 1971 it was renamed Zaire. After the overthrow of Mobutu dictatorship in 1997, the country took its present name.

It has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation, which were established with the USSR on July 7, 1960.


The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country in western equatorial Africa. The territory of the country occupies the Congo River Basin. Part of the territory of DR Congo belongs to the equatorial climate belt, partly to the subequatorial or savannah belt. To the east the country is bounded by the African Rift.

Mineral Resources

The country has copper, cobalt, cadmium, bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, silver, oil, zinc, manganese, tin and uranium. On the territory of the Republic there is more than a half of the world’s explored reserves of uranium. Large deposits of columbite-tantalite. On the territory of the country there is part of African copper belt.

Animal world

Fauna is widely represented: elephants, lions, leopards, chimpanzees, gorillas, giraffes, okapi, zebras and wolves. Crocodiles and hippos abound in the rivers, and African buffalo, antelope, and other herbivorous ungulates abound in the savanna. There are also many different snakes, of which the mamba (one of the most venomous snakes in the world) stands out. Among the birds: flamingo, pelican, parrot, heron, nectarine, African spurge lapwing. A large number of insects, including the malaria mosquito and the tsetse fly, which carries sleeping sickness.

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Political structure

The head of state is the president, elected for a 5-year term (a second consecutive term is possible).

The president appoints the prime minister on the proposal of the party with the most seats in parliament.

The parliament is bicameral; there is a Senate (108 seats, elected for 5 years by the provincial assemblies) and a National Assembly (500 seats, elected for 5 years by the people).

The party of President Joseph Kabila’s (Parti du Peuple pour la Restructuration et la Démocratie, PPRD) has the most seats (111 out of 500) in the National Assembly at the moment (after the July 30, 2006 elections). In total 69 political parties are represented in the Assembly, as well as several dozens of non-partisan deputies.

The Presidential Party has 22 seats in the Senate (after the January 19, 2007 elections), seven parties have 14 to two seats, eighteen parties have one seat each, and 26 non-partisans.

Administrative division

The Democratic Republic of Congo is divided into 26 provinces according to the Constitution of 2005. This administrative division of the country came into force in February 2009. Previously, the country had 11 provinces:

Principal Cities


Natural resources – the world’s largest reserves of cobalt, germanium, tantalum, diamonds, Africa’s largest reserves of uranium, tungsten, copper, zinc, tin, beryllium, lithium, niobium, significant deposits of oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, gold, silver, bauxite. Large resources of hydropower, forests.

After the end of civil wars, the country’s economic situation began to improve in 2002. The DRC authorities have resumed relations with international financial institutions and aid donor countries. Recovery in the mining sector, the main source of export earnings, led to an increase in GDP in 2006-08. Since late 2008, however, falling demand and prices for the DRC’s key export commodities have brought the economy to a new standstill.

GDP per capita in 2009 is about $300 (227th in the world, lower only in Zimbabwe).

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Industry – mining (diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, zinc), consumer products (textiles, shoes, cigarettes, food and beverages), lumber.

Agriculture – coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, quinine, cassava (tapioca), bananas, root crops, corn, fruits; livestock is poorly developed.

Foreign trade

Exports ($6.1 billion in 2007) – diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, timber, crude oil, coffee.

Major buyers of exports (in 2008): China 47.3%, Belgium 15.4%, Finland 9.6%, USA 8.1%, Zambia 4.4%.

Imports ($5.2 billion in 2007) – food, engineering products, vehicles, fuel.

Main suppliers of imports (in 2008) – South Africa 28.4%, Belgium 9.9%, Zambia 7.1%, China 5.9%, and Kenya 5%.

External debt – $10 billion (in 2007).


Population – 70.9 million (estimate, as of July 2010, 18th place in the world)

The annual growth rate – 3.2%.

Fertility – 42 per 1,000 (fertility – 6.1 births per woman, ranked 7th in the world).

Life expectancy – 53 years for men and 57 years for women.

Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection – 4.2% (2003 estimate, 1.1 million infected).

Literacy – 81% of men, 54% of women (2001 estimate).

Urban population – 34%.

Ethnicity: more than 200 peoples and ethnic groups, mainly Bantu; the four largest peoples are Mongo, Luba, Congo, and Mangbetu-Azande, together comprising 45% of the population.

Languages: French (official), Lingala (inter-ethnic language in the center and northwest), Kingwana (Swahili dialect, center and east), Kikongo (far southwest), Chiluba (center and southwest).

Religions: Catholics 50%, Protestants 20%, Kimbangists 10%, Muslims 10%, Aboriginal and syncretic cults 10%. Jehovah’s Witnesses as of 2011, 1.53% (0.25% are proclaimers).

Armed Forces.

In addition to the army, divided into 18 brigades of 3,500 soldiers each, the DR Congo has a 10,000-strong corps of Republican Guards.

See also


  1. ↑ 1 2 (English) . International Monetary Fund. Archived from source on May 27, 2012.Verified on May 5, 2012.


Coat of Arms – Flag – Anthem – State System – Constitution – Parliament – Administrative Division – Geography – Cities – Capital City – Population – Languages – History – Economy – Currency – Culture – Religion – Cinema – Literature – Music – Holiday – Sport – Education – Science – Transportation – Tourism – Postal (history and stamps) – Internet – Armed Forces – Foreign Policy Portal Democratic Republic of Congo

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¹ Western Sahara, according to UN documents, is a non-decolonized territory. The Sahrawi ADR, proclaimed on its territory, is a member of the African Union. Much of the territory is occupied by Morocco.

  • Alphabetical States
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Francophone countries
  • Unitarian states
  • Former Colonies of Belgium
  • Central Africa

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See what “Democratic Republic of Congo” is in other dictionaries:

Democratic Republic of Congo – (DRC), or Congo Kinshasa, a state in Central Africa. From October 1971 to May 1997, it was called the Republic of Zaire, from 1908 to 1960 the Belgian Congo (a colony of Belgium), from 1885 to 1908 the Independent State of the Congo (a personal possession of the Belgian king … Geographical Encyclopedia

Democratic Republic of Congo – Not to be confused with the Republic of Congo. Coordinates … Wikipedia

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO – or Congo Kinshasa, a state in Central Africa. From October 1971 to May 1997 it was called the Republic of Zaire, in 1908 1960 Belgian Congo (a colony of Belgium), in 1885 1908 Independent State of the Congo (personal possession of King Leopold of Belgium… …. Encyclopedia Collierre

Democratic Republic of Congo – Official name Democratic Republic of Congo Capital Kinshasa Population 55225,000. Area 2345410 sq km Currency unit Congolese franc Internet domain .cd Head of State President Joseph Kabila Head of Government Premier ……… countries of the world

Democratic Republic of the Congo at the Olympics – Democratic Republic of the Congo at the Olympics … Wikipedia

Democratic Republic of the Congo at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Democratic Republic of the Congo at the Olympics … Wikipedia

Democratic Republic of the Congo at the 2000 Summer Olympics – Democratic Republic of the Congo at the Olympics … Wikipedia

Democratic Republic of the Congo at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Democratic Republic of the Congo at the Olympics … Wikipedia

Democratic Republic of the Congo at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Democratic Republic of the Congo at the Olympics … Wikipedia

Democratic Republic of the Congo at the 1968 Summer Olympics – Democratic Republic of the Congo at the Olympics … Wikipedia

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