Basic information about the territory
- System of governance and political tendencies in the country
- Foreign policy of the country
The system of governance and political tendencies in the country
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country in Central Africa. It lies from the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to the region of the Great Lakes and is crossed by the equator. It has an area of 2,344,858 km2 and is the second largest African and the largest sub-Saharan country. It borders with Angola for 2,511 km, of which 225 km with the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, then with Burundi 233 km, the Central African Republic 1,577 km, the Republic of Congo 2,410 km, with Rwanda 217 km, South Sudan 628 km, Tanzania 459 km, Uganda 765 km and Zambia 1930 km. The length of the coast is only 37 km. Check cancermatters to learn more about Democratic Republic of the Congo political system.
The DRC gained independence from Belgium in 1960. It experienced several bloody civil wars and a period of the harsh regime of President Mobutu Sese Seko. Currently, the DRC is a unitary republic practicing a semi-presidential system with a multi-party political system. Executive power is vested in the government, which is headed by the president of the republic together with the prime minister. According to the constitution of February 18, 2006, the president is elected for a maximum of two five-year terms by direct popular vote. The legislative power is represented by a bicameral parliament, consisting of the Senate (108 members elected by provincial assemblies for 5 years) and the National Assembly (500 members, 61 deputies elected by majority vote, 439 elected by proportional voting for 5 years). Opposition parties were legalized in 1990. A total of 100 political parties are already registered, the most important are:
The Congolese legal system is directly derived from the Belgian variant of French civil law. Congo accepts the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice with reservations, but accepts the decisions of the International Court of Justice. The highest judicial bodies are the Constitutional Court, the Court of Appeal, the Council of State and the Supreme Military Court. Civil and military courts of lower instance operate below them. The new constitution was adopted on 18 February 2006. Among other things, the constitutional amendment of 20/1/2011 changed the system of presidential elections from two-round to one-round, which the opposition criticized as a move to facilitate the re-election of President Joseph Kabila Kabange, which took place on 28/11/2011. The country’s political stability remains very fragile. One of the main leaders of the opposition, Félix Tshisekedi, won the election, which took place on December 30, 2018, after a two-year delay.
Foreign policy of the country
Since former President Joseph Kabila came to power, Congo has become more oriented towards Belgium, the USA and France. An increasingly important partner is the PRC, which already owns 80% of the mining plants in the province of Katanga, and military cooperation with this country is also growing rapidly. Turkey is very active. Relations with Angola are relatively good, but they are burdened by a dispute over the course of the maritime border (thus oil deposits), the same is the case with Uganda (inaccurately marked border in Lake Albert). Uganda and Rwanda are accused of supporting rebel movements in the east of the country (and profiting from illegally mined raw materials). Rather than the Great Lakes region (where Rwanda and Uganda are located), Congo’s foreign policy orientation is towards the south of the continent, towards the countries associated in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Congo’s political allies include, for example, the Republic of South Africa (JAR) and Zimbabwe. Close political relations between the Republic of South Africa and the DRC are contributed by strong trade ties and the interest of the Republic of South Africa in large infrastructure projects in the DRC (hydroelectric power plant at the Inga dam, etc.). Check prozipcodes for Democratic Republic of the Congo defense and foreign policy.
Congo is a member of the United Nations, Francophonie (the second most populous francophone country in the world), the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Furthermore, the DRC is a member of international organizations: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, CEPGL, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IB, ICAO, ICCT, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (membership suspended ), ILO, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNW, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO and WTO. Among important regional organizations, the country is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and CEEAC (Communauté économique des états de l’Afrique centrale). In 2012, it acceded to the OHADA agreement.
Age structure: 0-14 years 43.1%
15-64 years 54.3%
65 and over 2.6%.
About 55% of the population is of working age. The annual population increase is 2.4% (2016 estimate). The share of the urban population is high by African standards and amounts to 42%.
Population density 40 per km2.
Over 250 ethnic groups live in the country, with a predominance of the Bantu (Luba, Congo, Lund, Mongo, Tetela), Zand, and Mangbetu (Hamite) ethnic groups. To the east live the Mulengos (Banyamulengos), relatives of the Tutsi from Rwanda, whose status is unclear and is still a source of tension. About 700,000 indigenous people – Pygmies. The most represented foreigners are Belgians, French, Indians, Lebanese, Pakistanis, Angolans, Congolese (Brazzaville), West Africans. Ethnicity and regional affiliation played and still plays a significant role in politics. Under Mobutu, the privileged ethnic group was the Ngombe group, from which Mobutu came, and the people of Equateur province. Kabila senior’s government relied on the Swahili-speaking population of the east (Katanga, Maniema, both Kivu regions). All major ethnicities and regions are equally represented in today’s government.
The dominant religion is Roman Catholic (50%). A number of small Protestant churches (20%) operate in the country. Afro-Christian autochthonous churches are significant, the main of which are the Kimbangists (10%). In the east of the country, Muslims are also more prominently represented (10%). The rest are animists, vitalists, spiritualists.
The official language is French. Four local languages have the status of national languages: Swahili (Katanga and the east of the country), Lingala (Kinshasa and northwestern Congo), Kikongo (the western part of the country and around Kinshasa), Chiluba (Eastern and Western Kasai). A total of 242 languages are spoken in the Congo.