The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the second largest country in Africa and located in Central Africa. DR Congo is surrounded by ten countries. It is not landlocked as it has access to the sea through the great River Congo. Despite being rich in natural resources and rare earth metals, the country is one of the poorest in the world having suffered from both internal and external wars over many years. The capital of DR Congo is Kinshasa.
1960 – Congo declares independence from Belgian rule under Patrice Lumumba through parliamentary elections.
1965 – Mobutu takes control in military coup following period of instability in newly formed country.
1971 – Joseph Mobutu renames the country Zaire; Katanga becomes Shaba and the river Congo becomes the river Zaire.
1989 – Zaire defaults on loans from Belgium, resulting in a cancellation of development programmes and increased deterioration of the economy.
1997 – Mobutu finally removed from office; Zaire is renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo; Laurent-Desire Kabila installed as president.
2001 – President Laurent Kabila assassinated. His son, Joseph Kabila, aged 29 was appointed to replace him.
2006 – New constitution established, and elections held -Joseph Kabila retains power.
2016 – ACT begins work in Congo at the Lighthouse school near Lubumbashi.
2018 – Felix Tshisekedi elected President following a general election which many cast doubts on the result.
GDP per capita: 457.85 USD (2017)
Population: 81.34 million (2017)
Largest cities: Kinshasa (the capital), Lubumbashi, Mbuji-Mayi
Median age: 16.8 years (2019)
Child labour: 42%
Literacy rate: 77% ; Male –88.5%, Female –66.5% (2016)
Internally displaced persons within DRC: 4.5 million (2018)
DRC regularly ranks poorly for levels of poverty – rank 176 HDI (2017)
DRC is the world’s largest producer of cobalt ore.
Congo is surrounded by ten countries, including the Central African Republic and South Sudan to the north, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania to the east, Zambia and Angola to the south, and the Republic of the Congo to the west. The country is not landlocked as it has access to the sea through the great River Congo. It is Africa’s second longest river, and flows westwards for 4 700 km into the Atlantic.
Places of Interest: Congo River.
ACT in DR Congo
We started working in DR Congo in 2016 supporting children at the Lighthouse School in Lubumbashi, the country’s 2nd city located in the south east. The school supports disadvantaged children through primary school. Children who complete their primary education are supported to attend a secondary school in the locality.