Quick Facts

  • Formally, it was known as Republic of Zaire. The country was renamed in 1997.
  • Independence: 1960 (from Belgium)
  • Population: 79,375,136
  • Official language: French
  • Capital city: Kinshasa (pop. 11.587 million)
  • Climate: tropical
  • Divided into ten provinces
  • Nationality: Congolese (sing. and pl.)
  • Area: 2,344,858 sq. km (slightly less than one-fourth the size of US), second largest country in Africa
  • The citizens are amongst the poorest in the world.
  • Economy: driven by mining industry; richest country in the world in regards to national resources
  • Religion: primarily Christianity
  • Involved heavily in the Second Congo War involving nine countries and one of the most deadly conflicts since WWII, with over 5.4 million killed since 1998.
  • Literacy rate: 63.8%
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • Type: republic
  • Chief of state: President Joseph Kabila (since 2011) – elected by popular vote
  • Head of government: Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo Mapon – appointed by the President

Healthcare Statistics

  • Maternal mortality rate: 693/100,000
  • Infant mortality rate: 71.47/1,000 births
  • Life expectancy: 56.93 years
  • Total fertility rate: 4.66 children/woman
  • Health expenditures: 3.5% GDP
  • Physician density: 0.11/1,000
  • Hospital bed density: 0.8/1,000
  • Children under age of 5 underweight: 23.4%
  • HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 1.04%
  • Infectious disease risk: very high
  • Infectious diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hep. A, typhoid fever, malaria, dengue fever, African trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis, rabies.
  • Infectious disease updates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field


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