Democratic Republic of the Congo
Congo became independent on 30 June 1960. However, during the period between independence and 1999, the DRC suffered two civil wars, erupting and dying off at different times. In addition to the capital city of Kinshasa, other major population centres include Lubumbashi, Kisangani, Matadi and Goma. The president is the Head of State.
The DRC’s economy is primarily based on the mining sector. It has abundant mineral resources including copper, cobalt, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore and coal as well as timber, and vast hydropower potential. The DRC is potentially one of the richest mining countries in Africa. The country was the world’s fourth-largest producer of industrial diamonds during the 1980s, and diamonds continue to dominate exports, accounting for nearly half of exports (US$828 million) in 2004. The oil industry, mainly from offshore fields, is another important contributor to the DRC’s economy. Agriculture is the mainstay of the DRC economy, accounting for 42.5 % of GDP in 2004, with the main cash crops consisting of coffee, palm oil, rubber, cotton, sugar, tea and cocoa.
The DRC with its dense rain forests, wildlife and rivers offer an important investment opportunity for the development of eco-tourism and the construction of new hotels. The country has seven major national parks: Virunga, Kahuzi-Biega, Garamba, Maiko, Kundelungu, Upemba and Salonga. Spectacular wildlife viewing is offered in the Parc National de Kahuzi-Biega, where the lowland gorillas are found. Virunga National Park, which borders Rwanda and Uganda, is home to the endangered mountain gorillas and also houses the Tonga Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira volcanoes offer spectacular views, where lava flows can be seen on both volcanoes and the crater at Nyiragongo, which is still active.
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Democratic Republic Of Congo
Conventional short form: DRC
ISO Country Code: CD 3166
Country Calling Code: +243
Capital City: Kinshasa
Natural resources: Diamonds, gold, copper, cassiterite (tin ore) and coltan
Agriculture products: Cassava, plantains, maize, groundnuts/peanuts tobacco, coffee, sugar case, cocoa and rice.