Democratic Republic Of The Congo Informative Slideshow

All you need to know to prep for an adoption in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Bryan Bennion April 06, 2016

Are you interested in adopting from the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Well then this slideshow is for you. Read on to learn all about Democratic Republic of the Congo culture, history, holidays, and more. This will help give you an introduction to your future child’s heritage and culture.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo
1. The Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, previously known as Zaire, (DRC) is the second largest country in Africa, with a population of around 81 million. It is located in central Africa next to Republic of the Congo, south of South Sudan, west of Uganda and Rwanda, and north of Zambia and Angola. With around 80 million inhabitants, the DRC is one of the most populous countries in Africa.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo Government
2. Democratic Republic of the Congo Government

The government in the DRC has undergone major changes in recent years, but is considered a democracy with a constitution, a parliament made up of representatives, a constitutional court, and a president who shares power with the prime minister, and can be elected up to two five-year terms.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo Culture
3. Democratic Republic of the Congo Culture

Like many other African countries, the DRC is made up of over 200 ethnic groups with most belonging to the Bantu people, and over 200 languages spoken with Swahili, Lingala, Kongo, and French as the most popular. Cultures around the country run deep and often have been influenced by religion. The most common religion is Roman Catholic; however, there are many Protestant Christian faiths that have intermixed old native religions with those originating from Middle Eastern and European as well.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo Landscape
4. Democratic Republic of the Congo Landscape

Geographically, the country is made up of large forests, vast rolling plains, flowing rivers, and a tall mountain range. It has a small coastline at the outlet of the Congo River between the Republic of the Congo and Angola. Most of the country lies within the tropical climate and receives seasonal rains in November to February, and hot humidity throughout the summer months.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo Economy
5. Democratic Republic of the Congo Economy

The economy was originally almost entirely based on mineral exports of cobalt, coal and diamonds, but since the late 90s, the country has struggled to grow its agricultural industry despite its rich potential to do so. Currently, the main exports remain to be mostly minerals such coal, diamonds and cobalt (the country contains 80% of the world’s cobalt supply), while others include coffee, palm oil, rubber, and cotton.

Democratic Republic of the Congo History
6. Democratic Republic of the Congo History

Little is known about the detailed history of the Congo/Zaire region of Africa precolonial era. Some historians believe the Bantu people began settling the region around the Stone and Iron age and have developed the borders since then. Surrounding countries recorded doing commercial salt, iron, and copper trade with the people of this area around the 10th century. It wasn’t until the Belgian exploration in the 1870s that they officially acquired the rights to the territory and named the region as the Congo Free State after the Congo River.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo History
7. Democratic Republic of the Congo History

Infrastructure dramatically increased after the construction of a railroad. Rubber was the main export of the area. In 1908, the Belgian parliament officially annexed the territory from King Leopold ll, the original owner of the land, and installed a government that became known as the “Belgian Congo.” This region was directly involved in both World War l and ll, where it provided a crucial source of income for the Belgian government during this time.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo History
9. Democratic Republic of the Congo History

In 1960, a nationalist movement won the parliamentary elections in the country, along with other parties. The movement led to the declaration of independence in 1960, where the party renamed it the “Republic of the Congo” at the same time that the French colony to the West also declared independence under the same name. The two countries commonly became known as “The Congo”.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo History
10. Democratic Republic of the Congo History

Shortly after the country’s declaration of independence, conflicts within the government led to arrests and United Nations action to take place. This led to several short-lived governments for the next decade that led to a name change to the “Democratic Republic of the Congo.” After another short conflict, President Mobutu changed it to the “Republic of Zaire.”

President Mobutu gained much praise and support for his opposition against communism. He remained in power until the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which led to democratic reform that sparked the Rwandan Civil War and genocide where many fled to Zaire as refugees.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo History
11. Democratic Republic of the Congo History

As the Rwandan conflict increased, Ugandan armies invaded, starting the First Congo War. As Zaire forces fled along with Mobutu, Kabila, who was allied with the Ugandan forces, marched into the capital, took over and renamed the country back to its current name in 1997. As troops from neighboring countries went home, uprisings from Rwandan and local rebels sparked the Second Congo War a year later.

This pushed for other local nations to become involved as well as the UN. Peace was established in 2001 after the assassination of Kabila. Kabila's son came to power and signed a peace treaty that would allow for a share in power with the former rebels, and he was sworn in as president in 2006.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo History
12. Democratic Republic of the Congo History

After all foreign military left the country; peace reigned until 2009 when tensions arose when a member of the RCD parliament made a pact with a former rebel to start another rebellion. The rest of the RCD parliament called for help from Rwanda to dispute the conflict, which sparked a controversy around the country on the agreement. For the next several years, tensions led to rebellions, conflicts, and foreign invaders. The results of these combined has led to widespread disease, sexual violence, breaches of humanitarian and human rights laws, and hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths each year.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo History
13. Democratic Republic of the Congo History

After major protests broke out in 2015 to demand for a restructuring of government, the president was called to step down. Another election cannot be taken until a census of the country is complete. Elections are currently projected to be in 2018.

The country currently is still experiencing widespread problems as the government struggles to reorganize and elect a new president. Updates will be added as events unfold.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo Flag
14. Democratic Republic of the Congo Flag

The Flag of the RCD has seen several different designs over the last century. It’s current design is blue with a single red stripe bordered by yellow slanting through the middle, and single star in the upper left hand corner.

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Map of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
15. Map of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The country is currently divided up into one city district and 25 provinces with districts and territories within.

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Commemoration Of the Martyrs of Independence
16. Commemoration Of the Martyrs of Independence

Despite being a country of conflict and political tension, the people find ways to celebrate international holidays with the rest of the world. The commemoration of the Martyrs of Independence day is a time to remember those who died for human rights, a problem the country still regularly struggles with.

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National Liberation Day
17. National Liberation Day

National Liberation Day is one of the most observed holidays, where many of the people pay tribute to those who fought in the sound war in Congo. This is often a day of festivities, cultural shows, and parades.

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Bryan Bennion


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