Kinshasa (/kɪnˈʃɑːsə/; French: [kinʃasa]; formerly Léopoldville (French: Léopoldville or Dutch Leopoldstad (help·info))) is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The city is situated alongside the Congo River.
Once a site of fishing and trading villages, Kinshasa is now a megacity with an estimated population of more than 11 million. It faces Brazzaville, the capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo, which can be seen in the distance across the wide Congo River, making them the world's second-closest pair of capital cities after Rome and Vatican City. The city of Kinshasa is also one of the DRC's 26 provinces. Because the administrative boundaries of the city-province cover a vast area, over 90 percent of the city-province's land is rural in nature, and the urban area occupies a small but expanding section on the western side.
Kinshasa is Africa's third-largest urban area after Cairo and Lagos. It is also the world's largest Francophone urban area (surpassing Paris in population), with French being the language of government, schools, newspapers, public services, and high-end commerce in the city, while Lingala is used as a lingua franca in the street. Kinshasa hosted the 14th Francophonie Summit in October 2012.
Residents of Kinshasa are known as Kinois (in French and sometimes in English) or Kinshasans (English). The indigenous people of the area include the Humbu and Teke.
Ville de Kinshasa
Kin la belle
(English: Kin the beautiful)
DRC, highlighting the city-province of Kinshasa
DRC, highlighting the city-province of Kinshasa
|Country||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Administrative HQ||La Gombe|
|• Type||Provincial assembly|
|• Body||Provincial Assembly of Kinshasa|
|• Governor||André Kimbuta|
|• City-province||9,965 km2 (3,848 sq mi)|
|• Urban||600 km2 (200 sq mi)|
|Elevation||240 m (790 ft)|
|• Urban density||20,000/km2 (51,000/sq mi)|
|• Language||French, Lingala|
|Area code(s)||243 + 9|
The city was founded as a trading post by Henry Morton Stanley in 1881. It was named Léopoldville in honour of King Leopold II of the Belgians, who controlled the Congo Free State, the vast territory that is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, not as a colony but as a private property. The post flourished as the first navigable port on the Congo River above Livingstone Falls, a series of rapids over 300 kilometres (190 miles) below Leopoldville. At first, all goods arriving by sea or being sent by sea had to be carried by porters between Léopoldville and Matadi, the port below the rapids and 150 km (93 mi) from the coast. The completion of the Matadi-Kinshasa portage railway, in 1898, provided an alternative route around the rapids and sparked the rapid development of Léopoldville. In 1914, a pipeline was installed so that crude oil could be transported from Matadi to the upriver steamers in Leopoldville. By 1923, the city was elevated to capital of the Belgian Congo, replacing the town of Boma in the Congo estuary. The town, nicknamed "Léo" or "Leopold", became a commercial centre and grew rapidly during the colonial period.
After gaining its independence on 30 June 1960, following riots in 1959, the Republic of the Congo elected its first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba. Lumumba's determination to have full control over Congo's resources to improve the living conditions of his people was perceived as a threat to Western interests. This being the height of the Cold War, the U.S. and Belgium did not want to lose control of the strategic wealth of the Congo, in particular its uranium. Less than a year after Lumumba's election, the Belgians and the U.S. bought the support of his Congolese rivals and set in motion the events that culminated in Lumumba's assassination. In 1965, with the help of the U.S. and Belgium, Joseph-Désiré Mobutu seized power in the Congo. He initiated a policy of "Authenticity" the names of people and places in the country. In 1966, Léopoldville was renamed Kinshasa, for a village named Kinshasa that once stood near the site, today Kinshasa (commune). The city grew rapidly under Mobutu, drawing people from across the country who came in search of their fortunes or to escape ethnic strife elsewhere, thus adding to the many ethnicities and languages already found there.
In the 1990s, a rebel uprising began, which, by 1997, had brought down the regime of Mobutu. Kinshasa suffered greatly from Mobutu's excesses, mass corruption, nepotism and the civil war that led to his downfall. Nevertheless, it is still a major cultural and intellectual centre for Central Africa, with a flourishing community of musicians and artists. It is also the country's major industrial centre, processing many of the natural products brought from the interior. The city has recently had to fend off rioting soldiers, who were protesting the government's failure to pay them.
Joseph Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2001, is not overly popular in Kinshasa. Violence broke out following the announcement of Kabila's victory in the contested election of 2006; the European Union deployed troops (EUFOR RD Congo) to join the UN force in the city. The announcement in 2016 that a new election would be delayed two years led to large protests in September and in December which involved barricades in the streets and left dozens of people dead. Schools and businesses were closed down.
Kinshasa is a city of sharp contrasts, with affluent residential and commercial areas and three universities alongside sprawling slums. It is located along the south bank of the Congo River, downstream on the Pool Malebo and directly opposite the city of Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo. The Congo river is the second longest river in Africa after the Nile, and has the continent's greatest discharge. As a waterway it provides a means of transport for much of the Congo basin; it is navigable for large river barges between Kinshasa and Kisangani, and many of its tributaries are also navigable. The river is an important source of hydroelectric power, and downstream from Kinshasa it has the potential to generate power equivalent to the usage of roughly half of Africa's population.
The older and wealthier part of the city (ville basse) is located on a flat area of alluvial sand and clay near the river, while many newer areas are found on the eroding red soil of surrounding hills. Older parts of the city were laid out on a geometric pattern, with de facto racial segregation becoming de jure in 1929 as the European and African neighborhoods grew closer together. City plans of the 1920s–1950s featured a cordon sanitaire or buffer between the white and black neighborhoods, which included the central market as well as parks and gardens for Europeans.
Urban planning in post-independence Kinshasa has not been extensive. The Mission Française d'Urbanisme drew up some plans in the 1960s which envisioned a greater role for automobile transportation but did not predict the city's significant population growth. Thus much of the urban structure has developed without guidance from a master plan. According to UN-Habitat, the city is expanding by eight square kilometers per year. It describes many of the new neighborhoods as slums, built in unsafe conditions with inadequate infrastructure. Nevertheless spontaneously developed areas have in many cases extended the orthogonal streets from the original city.
Kinshasa is both a city (ville in French) and a province, one of the 26 provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its status is thus similar to that of Paris which is both a city and one of the 101 departments of France. The ville-province of Kinshasa is divided into four districts which are further divided into 24 communes (municipalities), which in turn contain various quarters (332 in total). Maluku, the rural province to the east of the urban area, accounts for 79% of the 9.965 km2 total land area of the ville-province, with a population of 200,000–300,000.
Abbreviations : Kal. (Kalamu), Kin. (Kinshasa), K.-V. (Kasa-Vubu), Ling. (Lingwala), Ng.-Ng. (Ngiri-Ngiri)
Under the Köppen climate classification, Kinshasa has a Tropical wet and dry climate. Its lengthy rainy season spans from October through May, with a relatively short dry season, between June and September. Kinshasa lies south of the equator, so its dry season begins around its winter solstice, which is in June. This is in contrast to African cities further north featuring this climate where the dry season typically begins around January. Kinshasa's dry season is slightly cooler than its wet season, though temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year.
An official census conducted in 1984 counted 2.6 million residents. Since then, all estimates are extrapolations. The estimates for 2005 fell in a range between 5.3 million and 7.3 million. In 2017, the most recent population estimate for the city, it has a population of 11,855,000.
According to UN-Habitat, 390,000 people immigrate to Kinshasa annually, fleeing warfare and seeking economic opportunity. Many float on barges down the Congo River.
According to a projection (2016) the population of Kinshasa will increase significantly, to 35 million by 2050, 58 million by 2075 and 83 million by 2100.  Making it one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.
Although political power in the DRC is fragmented, Kinshasa as the national capital represents the official center of sovereignty, and thus of access to international organizations and financing, and of political powers such as the right to issue passports. Kinshasa is also the primate city of the DRC with a population several times larger than the next-largest city, Lubumbashi.
The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known by its French acronym MONUSCO (formerly MONUC) makes its headquarters in Kinshasa. In 2016 the UN placed more peacekeepers on active duty in Kinshasa in response to the recent unrest against Kabila. Critics, including recently the US ambassador to the UN, have accused the peacekeeping mission of supporting a corrupt government.
Other non-governmental organizations play significant roles in local governance. The Belgian development agency (Coopération technique belge; CTB) since 2006 sponsors the Programme d’Appui aux Initiatives de Développement Communautaire (Paideco), a 6-million-euro program aimed at economic development. It began work in Kimbanseke, a hill commune with population verging on one million.
Big manufacturing companies such as Marsavco S.A.R.L., All Pack Industries and Angel Cosmetics are located in the centre of town (Gombe) in Kinshasa.
There are many other industries, such as Trust Merchant Bank, located in the heart of the city. Food processing is a major industry, and construction and other service industries also play a significant role in the economy.
Although home to only 13% of the DRC's population, Kinshasa accounts for 85% of the Congolese economy as measured by gross domestic product. A 2004 investigation found 70% of inhabitants employed informally, 17% in the public sector, 9% in the formal private sector, and 3% other, of a total 976,000 workers. Most new jobs are classified as informal.
The People's Republic of China has been heavily involved in the Congo since the 1970s, when they financed the construction of the Palais du Peuple and backed the government against rebels in the Shaba war. In 2007–2008 China and Congo signed an agreement for an $8.5 billion loan for infrastructure development. Chinese entrepreneurs are gaining an increasing share of local marketplaces in Kinshasa, displacing in the process formerly successful Congolese, West African, Indian, and Lebanese merchants.
Mean household spending in 2005 was the equivalent of US$2,150, amounting to $1 per day per person. The median household spending was $1,555, 66 cents per person per day. Among the poor, more than half of this spending goes to food, especially bread and cereal.
Since the Second Congo War, the city has been striving to recover from disorder, with many youth gangs hailing from Kinshasa's slums. The U.S. State Department in 2010 informed travelers that Kinshasa and other major Congolese cities are generally safe for daytime travel, but to beware of robbers, especially in traffic jams and in areas near hotels and stores.
Some sources say that Kinshasa is extremely dangerous, with one source giving a homicide rate of 112 per 100,000 people per year. Another source cites a homicide rate of 12.3 per 100,000. By some accounts, crime in Kinshasa is not so rampant, due to relatively good relations among residents and perhaps to the severity with which even petty crime is punished.
While the military and National Police operate their own jails in Kinshasa, the main detention facility under the jurisdiction of the local courts is the Kinshasa Penitentiary and Re-education center in Malaka. This prison houses more than double its nominal capacity of 1,000 inmates. The Congolese military intelligence organization, Détection Militaire des Activités Anti-Patrie (DEMIAP) operates the Ouagadougou prison in Kintambo commune with notorious cruelty.
Street children or "Shegués", often orphaned, are subject to abuse by the police and military. Of the estimated 20,000 children living on Kinshasa's streets, almost a quarter are beggars, some are street vendors and about a third have some kind of employment. Some have fled from physically abusive families, notably step-parents, others were expelled from their families as they were believed to be witches, and have become outcasts. Previously a significant number were civil war orphans.
Street children are mainly boys, but the percentage of girls is increasing according to UNICEF. Ndako ya Biso provides support for street children, including overnight accommodation for girls. There are also second generation street children: "they referred to their sub-culture of violence as kindoubill".
These children have been the object of considerable outside study.
Kinshasa is home to several higher-level education institutes, covering a wide range of specialities, from civil engineering to nursing and journalism. The city is also home to three large universities and an arts school:
In 2005, 93% of children over six attended school and 70% of people over 15 were literate in French.
Since 1991, Monkole Hospital is operating as a non-profit health institution collaborating with the Health Department as district hospital in Kinshasa. Directed by Pr Léon Tshilolo, paediatrician and haematologist, Monkole Hospital opened a 150-bed building in 2012 with improved clinical services as laboratory, diagnostic radiology, intensive care, neonatal unit, family medicine, emergencies unit and a larger surgical area.
Kinshasa has a flourishing music scene which since the 1960s has operated under the patronage of the city's elite. The Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste, formed in 1994, began using improved musical instruments and has since grown in means and reputation.
A pop culture ideal type in Kinshasa is the mikiliste, a fashionable person with money who has traveled to Europe. Adrien Mombele, a.k.a. Stervos Niarcos, and musician Papa Wemba, were an early exemplar of the mikiliste style. La Sape, a linked cultural trend also described as dandyism, involves wearing of flamboyant clothing.
Many Kinois have a negative view of the city, expressing nostalgia for the rural way of life, and a stronger association with the Congolese nation than with Kinshasa.
Kinshasa is home to a large number of media outlets, including multiple radio and television stations that broadcast to nearly the entire country, including state-run Radio-Television Nationale Congolaise (RTNC) and privately run Digital Congo and Raga TV. The private channel RTGA is also based in Kinshasa.
Several national radio stations, including La Voix du Congo, which is operated by RTNC, MONUC-backed Radio Okapi and Raga FM are based in Kinshasa, as well as numerous local stations. The BBC is also available in Kinshasa on 92.6 FM.
The state-controlled Agence Congolaise de Presse news agency is based in Kinshasa, as well as several daily and weekly newspapers and news websites, including L'Avenir (daily), La Conscience, LeCongolais (online),L'Observateur (daily), Le Phare, Le Potentiel, and Le Soft.
Most of the media uses French and Lingala to a large extent; very few use the other national languages.
The official language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, of which Kinshasa is the capital, is French (See: Kinshasa French vocabulary). Kinshasa is the largest officially Francophone city in the world although Lingala is widely used as a spoken language. French is the language of street signs, posters, newspapers, government documents, schools; it dominates plays, television, and the press, and it is used in vertical relationships among people of different social classes. People of the same class, however, speak the Congolese languages (Kikongo, Lingala, Tshiluba or Swahili) among themselves.
Sports, especially football and martial arts are popular in Kinshasa. The Vita Club, now owned by General Gabriel Amisi Kumba frequently draws large crowds, enthusiastic and sometimes rowdy, to the Stade des Martyrs. Dojos are popular and their owners influential.
Kinshasa is home to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo including:
The Central Bank of the Congo has its headquarters on Boulevard Colonel Tshatshi, across the street from the Mausoleum of Laurent Kabila and the presidential palace.
Notable features of the city include the Gecamines Commercial Building (formerly SOZACOM) and Hotel Memling skyscrapers; L'ONATRA, the impressive building of the Ministry of Transport; the central market; the Kinshasa Museum; and the Kinshasa Fine Arts Academy. The face of Kinshasa is changing as new buildings are being built on the Boulevard du 30 Juin: Crown Tower (on Batetela) and Congofutur Tower.
Kinshasa is home to the country's national stadium, the Stade des Martyrs (Stadium of the Martyrs).
The city's infrastructure for running water and electricity is generally in bad shape. The electrical network is in disrepair to the extent that prolonged and periodic blackouts are normal, and exposed lines sometimes electrify puddles of rainwater.
Regideso, the national public company with primary responsibility for water supply in the Congo, serves Kinshasa only incompletely, and not with uniformly perfect quality. Other areas are served by decentralized Associations des Usagers des Réseau d’Eau Potable (ASUREPs). Gombe uses water at a high rate (306 liters per day per inhabitant) compared to other communes (from 71 l/d/i in Kintambo down to 2 l/d/i in Kimbanseke).
The city is estimated to produce 6,300 m3 of trash and 1,300 m3 of industrial waste per day.
The housing market has seen rising prices and rents since the 1980s. Houses and apartments in the central area are expensive, with houses selling for a million dollars and apartments going for $5000 per month. High prices have spread outward from the central area as owners and renters move out of the most expensive part of the city. Gated communities and shopping malls, built with foreign capital and technical expertise, began to appear in 2006. Urban renewal projects have led in some cases to violent conflict and displacement. The high prices leave incoming refugees with few options for settlement besides illegal shantytowns such as Pakadjuma.
In 2005, 55% of households had televisions and 43% had mobile phones. 11% had refrigerators and 5% had cars.
The ville-province has 5000 km of roadways, 10% of which are paved. The Boulevard du 30 Juin (Boulevard of 30 June) links the main areas of the central district of the city. Other roads also converge on Gombe. The East-West road network linking the more distant neighborhoods is weak and thus transit through much of the city is difficult. The quality of roads has improved somewhat, developed in part with loans from China, since a nadir in year 2000.
Several private companies serve the city, among them the Urban Transport Company (STUC) and the Public City train (12 cars in 2002). The bus lines are:
Other companies also provide public transport: Urbaco, Tshatu Trans, Socogetra, Gesac and MB Sprl. The city buses carry up to 67,000 passengers per day. Several companies operate taxis and taxi-buses. Also available are fula-fula (trucks adapted to carry passengers). The majority (95.8 percent) of transport is provided by individuals.
The city has two airports: N'djili Airport (FIH) is the main airport with connections to other African countries as well as to Istanbul, Brussels, Paris and some other destinations. N'Dolo Airport, located close to the city centre, is used for domestic flights only with small turboprop aircraft. Several international airlines serve Ndjili Airport including Kenya Airways, Air Zimbabwe, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Air France and Turkish Airlines. As of June 2016 DR Congo has two national airlines, Congo Airways, formed with the help of Air France, and Air Kasaï. Both offer scheduled flights from Kinshasa to a limited number of cities inside DR Congo.
The Matadi–Kinshasa Railway connects Kinshasa with Matadi, Congo's Atlantic port. The line reopened in September 2015 after around a decade without regular service. As of April 2016, there was one passenger trip per week along the line, which travels the 350 kilometres (220 miles) between Kinshasa and Matadi every Saturday in about 7 hours; more frequent service was planned. Brazzaville in the neighbouring Republic of Congo is connected to its Atlantic port at Pointe-Noire via the Congo–Ocean Railway.
In 2007, Belgium assisted in a renovation of the country's internal rail network. This improved service to Kintambo, Ndolo, Limete, Lemba, Kasangulu, Gombe, Ndjili and Masina. During the early years of the 21st century, the city's planners considered creating a tramway in collaboration with public transport in Brussels (STIB), whose work would start in 2009. That work has not moved beyond the planning stage, partly due to lack of a sufficient electrical supply.
Kinshasa is the major river port of the Congo. The port, called 'Le Beach Ngobila' extends for about 7 km (4 mi) along the river, comprising scores of quays and jetties with hundreds of boats and barges tied up. Ferries cross the river to Brazzaville, a distance of about 4 km (2 mi). River transport also connects to dozens of ports upstream, such as Kisangani and Bangui.
There are no rail links from Kinshasa further inland, and road connections to much of the rest of the country are few and in poor condition.
Kinshasa is twinned with:
The 1968 Africa Cup of Nations was the sixth edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the soccer championship of Africa (CAF). It was hosted by Ethiopia. The field expanded to eight teams, split into two groups of four; the top two teams in each group advanced to the semifinals. Congo-Kinshasa won its first championship, beating Ghana in the final 1−0.
Prior to this tournament, the African Cup of Nations were held once every three years, following 1968 they were held once every two years.AS Vita Club
Association Sportive Vita Club, more commonly known as AS Vita Club, AS V. Club or simply Vita Club, is a Congolese football club based in Kinshasa.Brazzaville
Brazzaville (French pronunciation: [bʁazavil], Kongo: Balazavile) is the capital and largest city of the Republic of the Congo (Congo Republic). Constituting the financial and administrative centre of the country, it is located on the north side of the Congo River, opposite Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). The population of the capital is estimated to exceed 1.8 million residents, comprising more than a third of the national populace, 40% of whom are employed in non-agricultural professions. During World War II, Brazzaville was also the capital of Free France between 1940 and 1942.
In 2013, Brazzaville was designated a City of Music by UNESCO, and has been a member of the Creative Cities Network since then.Congo-Kinshasa at the 1968 Summer Olympics
Congo-Kinshasa competed at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico. It was the first time that the nation was represented at the Olympic Games. Five competitors, all men, took part in two events in the cycling.Coupe du Congo (DR Congo)
For the equivalent tournament in the Republic of the Congo, see Coupe du Congo (Republic of Congo).
The Coupe du Congo is the top knockout tournament of the Congolese (DR Congo) football. It was created in 1961.DR Congo national football team
The Democratic Republic of the Congo national football team (formerly known as Zaire, alternatively known as Congo-Kinshasa) is the national team of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is controlled by the Congolese Association Football Federation. They are nicknamed the Leopards.DR Congo have been ranked as high as 28 in the FIFA Rankings. As Zaire they were the first Sub-Saharan African team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup and twice won the Africa Cup of Nations.Daring Club Motema Pembe
Daring Club Motema Pembe, or DCMP, is a Congolese football club based in Kinshasa.Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (pronunciation French: République démocratique du Congo [kɔ̃ɡo]), also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes anachronistically referred to by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. It is, by area, the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa (after Algeria), and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 78 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated officially Francophone country, the fourth-most-populated country in Africa, and the 16th-most-populated country in the world. Currently, eastern DR Congo is the scene of ongoing military conflict in Kivu, since 2015.
Centred on the Congo Basin, the territory of the DRC was first inhabited by Central African foragers around 90,000 years ago and was reached by the Bantu expansion about 3,000 years ago. In the west, the Kingdom of Kongo ruled around the mouth of the Congo River from the 14th to 19th centuries. In the centre and east, the kingdoms of Luba and Lunda ruled from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 19th century. In the 1870s, just before the onset of the Scramble for Africa, European exploration of the Congo Basin was carried out, first led by Henry Morton Stanley under the sponsorship of Leopold II of Belgium. Leopold formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Berlin Conference in 1885 and made the land his private property, naming it the Congo Free State. During the Free State, the colonial military unit, the Force Publique, forced the local population to produce rubber, and from 1885 to 1908, millions of Congolese died as a consequence of disease and exploitation. In 1908, Belgium, despite initial reluctance, formally annexed the Free State, which became the Belgian Congo.
The Belgian Congo achieved independence on 30 June 1960 under the name Republic of the Congo. Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was elected the first Prime Minister, while Joseph Kasa-Vubu became the first President. Conflict arose over the administration of the territory, which became known as the Congo Crisis. The provinces of Katanga, under Moïse Tshombe, and South Kasai attempted to secede. After Lumumba turned to the Soviet Union for assistance in the crisis, the U.S. and Belgium became wary and oversaw his removal from office by Kasa-Vubu on 5 September and ultimate execution by Belgian-led Katangese troops on 17 January 1961. On 25 November 1965, Army Chief of Staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, who later renamed himself Mobutu Sese Seko, officially came into power through a coup d'état. In 1971, he renamed the country Zaire. The country was run as a dictatorial one-party state, with his Popular Movement of the Revolution as the sole legal party. Mobutu's government received considerable support from the United States, due to its anti-communist stance during the Cold War. By the early 1990s, Mobutu's government began to weaken. Destabilisation in the east resulting from the 1994 Rwandan genocide and disenfranchisement among the eastern Banyamulenge (Congolese Tutsi) population led to a 1996 invasion led by Tutsi FPR-ruled Rwanda, which began the First Congo War.On 17 May 1997, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a leader of Tutsi forces from the province of South Kivu, became President after Mobutu fled to Morocco, reverting the country's name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tensions between President Kabila and the Rwandan and Tutsi presence in the country led to the Second Congo War from 1998 to 2003. Ultimately, nine African countries and around twenty armed groups became involved in the war, which resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people. The two wars devastated the country. President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated by one of his bodyguards on 16 January 2001 and was succeeded eight days later as President by his son Joseph.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is extremely rich in natural resources but has had political instability, a lack of infrastructure, issues with corruption and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation with little holistic development. Besides the capital Kinshasa, the two next largest cities Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi are both mining communities. DR Congo's largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRC's exports in 2012. In 2016, DR Congo's level of human development was ranked 176th out of 187 countries by the Human Development Index. As of 2018, around 600,000 Congolese have fled to neighbouring countries from conflicts in the centre and east of the DRC. Two million children risk starvation, and the fighting has displaced 4.5 million people. The sovereign state is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, African Union, and COMESA.Elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Direct elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo occur for the Presidency, National Assembly (lower house of the legislature), and provincial assemblies. The Senate, the upper house of the legislature, is elected indirectly by members of the provincial assemblies.
The 1960 elections, held in the wake of independence, saw Patrice Lumumba become prime minister and Joseph Kasavubu president. In 1965 Mobutu Sese Seko seized power and declared himself president. He ruled until 1997 when Laurent Kabila seized power after the First Congo War. When Laurent Kabila was killed in 2001, his son Joseph Kabila took over the presidency while the country was going through the Second Congo War (1998–2003). The Second Congo War was officially declared over in 2003. The period that followed was relatively peaceful, with the United Nations' largest peacekeeping force maintaining the peace. However, the Ituri Conflict marred the peace, with periods of violence in the northeastern Ituri Province.
In December 2005 a referendum on a new constitution was held. It was approved, paving way for the first multiparty elections in 46 years.
The first multi-party elections in the country since 1960 took place in July 2006. Kabila was elected president and was reelected in 2011. His constitutionally-mandated term ended in 2016, but the government put off a new election, citing logistical problems and the ongoing conflict in the eastern DRC. The long delayed general election finally took place on 30 December 2018, which resulted in a surprise victory for Félix Tshisekedi, although this was questioned by election observers and led to accusations of voter fraud by another opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu. The Constitutional Court of the DRC dismissed Fayulu's challenge of the result, confirming Tshisekedi as the winner. Joseph Kabila stepped down in January 2019, with Tshisekedi being inaugurated as the 5th President of the DRC on January 24. This was the first democratic transition of power in the country since it gained independence in 1960.Foreign relations of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Its location in the center of Africa has made the Democratic Republic of the Congo (at one time known as Zaire) a key player in the region since independence. Because of its size, mineral wealth, and strategic location, Zaire was able to capitalize on Cold War tensions to garner support from the West. In the early 1990s, however, with the end of the Cold War and in the face of growing evidence of human rights abuses, Western support waned as pressure for internal reform increased.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is in the grip of a civil war that has drawn in military forces from neighboring states, with Ugandan, Burundian, and Rwandan forces helping the rebel movement which occupies much of the eastern portion of the state.
One problem is the continuing theft of mineral resources, such as coltan, by occupying forces. One estimate has the Rwandan army making $350 million in 48 months from the sale of coltan, even though Rwanda has no coltan deposits. Not only can the DRC not make any money from its mineral wealth, due to its inability to tax anything in rebel-held areas, but the wealth is also used itself to finance insurgent activities.
Troops from Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad, and Sudan support the Kinshasa regime.
Furthermore, relations with surrounding countries have often been driven by security concerns. Intricate and interlocking alliances have often characterized regional relations. Conflicts in Sudan, Uganda, Angola, Rwanda, and Burundi have at various times created bilateral and regional tensions. The current crisis in DRC has its roots both in the use of The Congo as a base by various insurgency groups attacking neighboring countries and in the absence of a broad-based political system in the Congo.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is also a member of the International Criminal Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the U.S.-military (as covered under Article 98).List of political parties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
This article details the various political parties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has seen extensive civil conflict since independence in 1960, and no free and fair election had been held there until 2006. In the absence of an effective central government, most political groups (especially those in the interior) exist solely to control territory and enforce allegiance to certain leaders instead of performing the typical party functions of electoral participation and ideological debate.
602 parties are registered with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.Music of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Music of the Democratic Republic of the Congo varies in its different forms. Outside Africa, most music from the Democratic Republic of Congo is called Soukous, which most accurately refers instead to a dance popular in the late 1960s. The term rumba or rock-rumba is also used generically to refer to Congolese music, though neither is precise nor accurately descriptive.
People from the Congo have no single term for their own music per se, although muziki na biso ("our music") was used until the late 1970s, and now the most common name is ndule, which simply means music in the Lingala language; most songs from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are sung in Lingala.N'Dolo Airport
N'Dolo Airport (IATA: NLO, ICAO: FZAB), also known as Ndolo Airport, is a secondary airport in the city of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, located in the commune of Barumbu near the city center.
The Aviation militaire de la Force Publique was established here in October 1940 with requisitioned aircraft.
The airline Air Kasaï had its head office on the airport property.Runways are limited to aircraft under 15,000 kilograms (33,000 lb) since the disastrous crash of January 8, 1996, in which an Antonov An-32 aborted takeoff and overran the runway into a market.
Runway length includes a 315 metres (1,033 ft) displaced threshold on Runway 08.N'djili Airport
N'djili Airport (IATA: FIH, ICAO: FZAA) (French: Aéroport de N'djili pronounced [a.e.ʁɔ.pɔʁ də n‿dʒi.li]), also known as N'Djili International Airport and Kinshasa International Airport, serves the city of Kinshasa and is the largest of the four international airports in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It is named after the nearby Ndjili River.National Assembly (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
The National Assembly is the lower house and main legislative political body of the Parliament of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was established by the 2006 constitution.It is located at the People's Palace in Kinshasa.
The most recent National Assembly was sworn in on January 28, 2019.Second Congo War
The Second Congo War (also known as the Great War of Africa or the Great African War, and sometimes referred to as the African World War) began in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in August 1998, little more than a year after the First Congo War, and involved some of the same issues. The war officially ended in July 2003, when the Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took power. Although a peace agreement was signed in 2002, violence has continued in many regions of the country, especially in the east. Hostilities have continued since the ongoing Lord's Resistance Army insurgency, and the Kivu and Ituri conflicts.
Ultimately, nine African countries and around twenty-five armed groups became involved in the war. By 2008, the war and its aftermath had caused 5.4 million deaths, principally through disease and starvation, making the Second Congo War the deadliest conflict worldwide since World War II. Another 2 million were displaced from their homes or sought asylum in neighboring countries.Despite a formal end to the war in July 2003 and an agreement by the former belligerents to create a government of national unity, 1,000 people died daily in 2004 from easily preventable cases of malnutrition and disease. The war was driven by (as the conflicts afterwards have been) the trade in conflict minerals, among other things.Stade des Martyrs
The Stade des Martyrs de la Pentecôte (Martyrs of Pentecost Stadium), also known as simply the Stade des Martyrs and formerly known as Stade Kamanyola, is a national stadium located in the town of Lingwala in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is mainly used for football matches and has organised many concerts and athletics competitions.
It is the home stadium of the National Team of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the AS Vita Club and DC Motema Pembe of Championship Democratic Republic of the Congo football. The stadium has a capacity of 80,000 for international matches, but capacity is 125,000 for most matches.The Rumble in the Jungle
The Rumble in the Jungle was a historic boxing event in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) on October 30, 1974 (at 4 am). Held at the 20th of May Stadium (now the Stade Tata Raphaël), it pitted the undefeated world heavyweight champion George Foreman against challenger Muhammad Ali, the former heavyweight champion; the attendance was 60,000. Ali won by knockout, putting Foreman down just before the end of the eighth round.
It has been called "arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century". It was a major upset victory, with Ali coming in as a 4–1 underdog against the unbeaten, heavy-hitting Foreman. The fight is famous for Ali's introduction of the rope-a-dope tactic.The fight was watched by a record estimated television audience of 1 billion viewers worldwide, becoming the world's most-watched live television broadcast at the time. This included a record estimated 50 million viewers watching the fight pay-per-view on closed-circuit theatre TV. The fight grossed an estimated $100 million (inflation-adjusted $510 million) in worldwide revenue.
|Climate data for Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Record high °C (°F)||36
|Average high °C (°F)||30.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||25.9
|Average low °C (°F)||21.2
|Record low °C (°F)||18
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||163
|Average precipitation days||12||12||14||17||12||1||0||1||6||10||16||14||115|
|Average relative humidity (%)||83||82||81||82||82||81||79||74||74||79||83||83||80|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||136||141||164||153||164||144||133||155||138||149||135||127||1,739|
|Source #1: Climate-Data.org (tempetature) Weatherbase (extremes)|
|Source #2: Danish Meteorological Institute (precipitation, sun, and humidity)|