Democratic Republic of the Congo

Overview of Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo had originally put themselves forward as host candidates but withdrew in July 2014.[14] Security concerns and threats from various militant groups particularly in the eastern part of the country were an early issue with a Congolese bid.[15] Before bidding solo Guinea was part of a four-way joint bid with Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone and Liberia, similarly Zambia was originally part of a joint bid with Malawi and Zimbabwe.
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo Health Cluster is playing a key role in improving access to essential health care services, fighting HIV/AIDS and in managing outbreaks which include yellow fever, Ebola, cholera and measles.
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC or Congo-Kinshasa), formerly a Belgian colony and the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), formerly a French colony – both celebrated independence in 1960.
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo is ranked 43rd among 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is well below the regional and world averages.
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo is firmly committed to strive for peace, democracy and durable economical development in harmony with our neighboring countries.
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a multilingual country where an estimated total of 242 languages are spoken.
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to three of the world’s great apes — but they are facing extinction.
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: World Bank – Doing Business Indicators open_in_new
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo is divided into 10 provinces and one city.
  • Can I go hiking?

    With its expanse of vast mountain ranges and thick rainforest, the DRC offers some top-notch hiking.There are lots of options in Virunga National Park, including various hikes to see the legendary mountain gorillas, but adventurous hikers will also want to tackle Mount Nyiragongo.

    Isn’t it dangerous?

    It’s true that the DRC is a deeply troubled country.Beginning with the arrival of Europeans in the late fifteenth century, and the subsequent colonisation in 1885 by Belgium, extensive pillaging of the country’s rich natural resources, slavery and war mar its history.

    Does the World Care?

    I am convinced now … that the lives of Congolese people no longer mean anything to anybody.Not to those who kill us like flies, our brothers who help kill us or those you call the international community.… Even God does not listen to our prayers any more and abandons us.

    What about insurance?

    Many insurance companies refuse to provide cover for areas under a travel warning, so if you already have a policy, check it’s valid in the DRC before you go.

    Where should I go?

    There are only a couple of regions of the DRC that travellers can visit at present.One of these is the spectacular Virunga National Park, home to about a quarter of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas.This is Africa’s oldest national park and is famed for its thick forest, towering mountain peaks and ancient swamps.

    Hidden cost of mobile phones, computers, stereos and VCRs?

    The ore, Columbite-tantalite, or coltan for short, isn’t perhaps as well known as some of the other resources and minerals.However, the demand for the highly prized tantalum that comes from the refined coltan has enormous impacts, as highlighted by a recent U.N.

    So is it actually safe to visit?

    It’s possible to visit parts of the DRC safely.The safest and most touristed areas of the country are Goma, Virunga National Park and Bukavu in in the east, and the capital Kinshasa in the west.

    Where can I find out more?

    For more information about visiting Virunga National Park, head to, and to understand more about the challenges of protecting the DRC’s wildlife watch Virunga Movie.If you’re visiting Kinshasha, has some useful information on the city.

    Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

    It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries.Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

    The Democratic Republic of Congo: is it safe to visit?

    The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been known for too long as the ‘heart of darkness’, but it rewards intrepid travellers with beautiful countryside and some of the continent’s most exciting trekking.

    Why should I go?

    There is something magical about the DRC.The expansive countryside is alive with colourful flowers, flourishing fruits and luscious green plants.Here, towering mountain peaks are garnished with wisps of mist and giant primates roam the rainforests, munching juicy leaves, swinging from vines and rolling playfully in the dirt.

    How do I get there and around?

    It’s difficult to obtain a visa for the DRC without having a tour booked through a reputable company.If you’re travelling independently, it’s best to book your accommodation, transport and activities in advance and use these details for your visa.

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    What is happening in Democratic Republic of Congo?

    In 2019, MSF teams worked in 21 of DRC’s 26 provinces, providing a wide range of services including general and specialist health care, nutrition, vaccinations, surgery, pediatric care, support for victims of sexual violence, as well as treatment and prevention activities for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), measles, cholera, and Ebola.

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    This is our US website.If you’d like to make a donation or sign-up for email updates please visit our UK website.

    What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

    Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance.See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them.For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs.

    Why go?

    Despite some of the political and social problems, Congo (both countries) still holds a powerful allure for travellers to Africa searching for something a little different, on the road less travelled.Whether you venture into the Republic of Congo, with its unique parks and lowland gorillas, or delve into the DRC in search of mountain gorillas in Virunga, visiting these forests is a life-changing experience, and a true voyage into the heart of untouched Africa.

    History of Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • In 1889 the French established a post on the Ubangi River at Bangui, the future capital of and the CAR and in 1894, the “French Congo’s” borders with (Belgian) Congo Free State, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo and (German) Cameroon were fixed by diplomatic agreements.
  • In 1908 the Belgian government took it over and then it was called Belgian Congo.
  • In 1914, a pipeline was installed so that crude oil could be transported from Matadi to the upriver steamers in Leopoldville.[10] By 1923, the city was elevated to capital of the Belgian Congo, replacing the town of Boma in the Congo estuary.[10] The town, nicknamed “Léo” or “Leopold”, became a commercial centre and grew rapidly during the colonial period.
  • In 1971, the country was renamed Zaire, and three provinces were also renamed.
  • In 1975, the capital city of Kinshasa obtained the status of a province.
  • In 1987, the African Development Bank awarded a 50-year loan of CFA Fr218 billion to finance the construction of a shipyard in Bujumbura.
  • In 1988, the province of Kivu was split into three.
  • In 1992 the Bridge of Concord, the country’s longest bridge, was opened; it traverses the Rusizi River.
  • In 1994, with the outbreak of the civil war in Rwanda, 270,000 Burundi refugees who were there returned home.
  • In 1995, eight patients in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with active Ebola infections were treated with blood transfusions from patients who were recovering from Ebola.
  • In 1997, the country was renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the three provinces that had been renamed in 1971 either retook their previous name or took another.[2]
  • In 1998, Namibia Defence Force (NDF) troops were sent to the Democratic Republic of the Congo as part of a Southern African Development Community (SADC) contingent.
  • In 1998, there were only 8 telephone lines per 1,000 people.
  • In 1999, the Republic of the Congo (ROC), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) signed an agreement, launching a repatriation operation.
  • In 2003 there were 24,000 passenger cars and 23,500 commercial vehicles.
  • In 2003, construction began on the 120 MW Imboulou hydroelectric dam, located on the Lefini River, which is expected to be finished in 2009.
  • In 2006, Joseph Kabila won the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s first multiparty election in 40 years.
  • In 2012, CIC Energy was acquired by India’s Jindal Steel and Power.
  • In 2012, having lost the first leg of a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification round 4–0 to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea recruited nine Brazilian players to help overturn the deficit for the second leg.
  • In 2013, an outbreak of violence between armed groups forced more than 640,000 people to flee the country in search of safety and an additional 630,000 were internally displaced (IDPs).
  • In 2016 the UN placed more peacekeepers on active duty in Kinshasa in response to the recent unrest against Kabila.[33] Critics, including recently[when?] the US ambassador to the UN,[34] have accused the peacekeeping mission of supporting a corrupt government.[35][36]
  • On 1 July, Uganda temporarily opened the border in Zombo district in the north, to allow refugees from the DRC to enter.