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Established as a Belgian colony in 1908, the then-Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but its early years were marred by political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several sham elections, as well as through brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion backed by Rwanda and Uganda and fronted by Laurent KABILA. He renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but in August 1998 his regime was itself challenged by a second insurrection again backed by Rwanda and Uganda. Troops from Angola, Chad, Namibia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe intervened to support KABILA's regime. A cease-fire was signed in July 1999 by the DRC, Congolese armed rebel groups, Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zimbabwe but sporadic fighting continued. Laurent KABILA was assassinated in January 2001 and his son, Joseph KABILA, was named head of state. In October 2002, the new president was successful in negotiating the withdrawal of Rwandan forces occupying eastern Congo; two months later, the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and establish a government of national unity. A transitional government was set up in July 2003; it held a successful constitutional referendum in December 2005 and elections for the presidency, National Assembly, and provincial legislatures took place in 2006. In the most recent national elections, held in November 2011, disputed results allowed Joseph KABILA to be reelected to the presidency .


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Economy - overview
The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - a nation endowed with vast potential wealth - is slowly recovering from decades of decline. Systemic corruption since independence in 1960 and conflict that began in May 1997 has dramatically reduced national output and government revenue, increased external debt, and resulted in the deaths of more than 5 million people from violence, famine, and disease. Foreign businesses curtailed operations due to uncertainty about the outcome of the conflict, lack of infrastructure, and the difficult operating environment. Conditions began to improve in late 2002 with the withdrawal of a large portion of the invading foreign troops. The transitional government reopened relations with international financial institutions and international donors, and President KABILA began implementing reforms. Progress has been slow and the International Monetary Fund curtailed its program for the DRC at the end of March 2006 because of fiscal overruns. Much economic activity still occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data. Renewed activity in the mining sector, the source of most export income, boosted Kinshasa's fiscal position and GDP growth from 2006-08, however, the government's review of mining contracts that began in 2006, combined with a fall in world market prices for the DRC's key mineral exports temporarily weakened output in 2009, leading to a balance of payments crisis. The recovery in mineral prices beginning in mid 2009 boosted mineral exports, and emergency funds from the IMF boosted foreign reserves. An uncertain legal framework, corruption, and a lack of transparency in government policy are long-term problems for the mining sector and for the economy as a whole. The global recession cut economic growth in 2009 to less than half its 2008 level, but growth returned to 6-7% in 2010-11. The DRC signed a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility with the IMF in 2009 and received $12 billion in multilateral and bilateral debt relief in 2010.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 115
$25.59 billion (2011 est.)
$23.93 billion (2010 est.)
$22.36 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$14.77 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 33
6.9% (2011 est.)
7% (2010 est.)
2.8% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 226
$400 (2011 est.)
$300 (2010 est.)
$300 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 37.5%
Industry 27.6%
Services 35% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 18
34.79 million (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture NA%
Industry NA%
Services NA%

Unemployment rate

Population below poverty line
71% (2006 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 2.3%
Highest 10% 34.7% (2006)

Revenues $4.754 billion
Expenditures $5.904 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 87
30.3% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 184
-7.3% of GDP (2011 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 210
17% (2011 est.)
23.1% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 2
22% (31 December 2010 est.)
70% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 1
43.75% (31 December 2011 est.)
56.8% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 152
$867.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$771.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 144
$2.655 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.147 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 181
$197.8 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$127.6 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

Agriculture - products
Coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cotton, cocoa, quinine, cassava (manioc), bananas, plantains, peanuts, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products

Mining (diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, coltan, zinc, tin), mineral processing, consumer products (textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes), metal products, processed foods and beverages, timber, cement, commercial ship repair

Industrial production growth rate

Electricity - production World Ranking: 99
7.452 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 108
6.036 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
674 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports
591 million kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 77
21,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 144
13,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 90
11,090 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 137
13,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 62
180 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 167
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 165
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 80
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 174
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 99
991.1 million cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 100
-$419 million (2011 est.)
-$897 million (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 89
$10.93 billion (2011 est.)
$8.35 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, wood products, crude oil, coffee

Exports - partners
China 48%, Zambia 21.2%, US 9.4%, Belgium 5.4% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 99
$9.021 billion (2011 est.)
$7.829 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels

Imports - partners
China 17.1%, South Africa 17%, Belgium 9%, Zambia 7.5%, Zimbabwe 6.1%, Kenya 5.1%, France 5% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 140
$755.7 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 84
$14.82 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$13.14 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates
Congolese francs (CDF) per US dollar -
919.49 (2011 est.)
905.91 (2010 est.)
472.19 (2009)
559 (2008)
516 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Kinshasa):

GPS points from Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Kinshasa)

Bokotola Democratic Republic Of The Congo (general)

Kabome Province Orientale

Betenkoi Democratic Republic Of The Congo (general)

Kabambili Province De Bandundu

Yamolota Province De L' Equateur

Selembao Ville De Kinshasa

Bantemba Province Du Kasai-oriental

Kitana Province Du Katanga

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