Democratic Republic of the Congo Population: 85,281,024

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 History
Established as an official 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 conflict 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. KABILA 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. In January 2001, KABILA was assassinated 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 the eastern DRC; two months later, the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and establish a government of national unity. Presidential, National Assembly, and provincial legislatures took place in 2006, with Joseph KABILA elected to office. National elections were held in November 2011 and disputed results allowed Joseph KABILA to be reelected to the presidency. While the DRC constitution barred President KABILA from running for a third term, the DRC Government delayed national elections originally slated for November 2016, to 30 December 2018. This failure to hold elections as scheduled fueled significant civil and political unrest, with sporadic street protests by KABILA’s opponents and exacerbation of tensions in the tumultuous eastern DRC regions. Presidential, legislative, and provincial elections were held in late December 2018 and early 2019 across most of the country. The DRC Government canceled presidential elections in the cities of Beni and Butembo (citing concerns over an ongoing Ebola outbreak in the region) as well as Yumbi (which had recently experienced heavy violence). Opposition candidate Felix TSHISEKEDI was announced the election winner on 10 January 2019 and inaugurated two weeks later. This was the first transfer of power to an opposition candidate without significant violence or a coup since the DRC's independence.  The DRC, particularly in the East, continues to experience violence perpetrated by over 100 armed groups active in the region, including the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), and assorted Mai Mai militias. The UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) has operated in the region since 1999 and is the largest and most expensive UN peacekeeping mission in the world.

 Geography
    Second largest country in Africa (after Algeria) and largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa; straddles the equator; dense tropical rain forest in central river basin and eastern highlands; the narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River is the DRC's only outlet to the South Atlantic Ocean

  • because of its speed, cataracts, rapids, and turbulence the Congo River, most of which flows through the DRC, has never been accurately measured along much of its length; nonetheless, it is conceded to be the deepest river in the world; estimates of its greatest depth vary between 220 and 250 meters
Location: Central Africa, northeast of Angola
Geographic coordinates: 0 00 N, 25 00 E
Area: total: 2,344,858 sq km
land: 2,267,048 sq km
water: 77,810 sq km

Size comparison: slightly less than one-fourth the size of the US
Land Boundaries: total: 10,481 km border countries (9): Angola 2646 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of Angola's discontiguous Cabinda Province), Burundi 236 km, Central African Republic 1747 km, Republic of the Congo 1229 km, Rwanda 221 km, South Sudan 714 km, Tanzania 479 km, Uganda 877 km, Zambia 2332 km
Coastline: 37 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: since 2011 the DRC has a Common Interest Zone agreement with Angola for the mutual development of off-shore resources
Climate: tropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and drier in southern highlands; cooler and wetter in eastern highlands; north of Equator - wet season (April to October), dry season (December to February); south of Equator - wet season (November to March), dry season (April to October)
Terrain: vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east
Natural resources: cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber
Land use: agricultural land: 11.4% (2011 est.) arable land: 3.1% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0.3% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 8% (2011 est.) forest: 67.9% (2011 est.)
other: 20.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 110 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: periodic droughts in south; Congo River floods (seasonal); active volcanoes in the east along the Great Rift Valley volcanism: Nyiragongo (3,470 m), which erupted in 2002 and is experiencing ongoing activity, poses a major threat to the city of Goma, home to a quarter million people; the volcano produces unusually fast-moving lava, known to travel up to 100 km /hr; Nyiragongo has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; its neighbor, Nyamuragira, which erupted in 2010, is Africa's most active volcano; Visoke is the only other historically active volcano
Current Environment Issues: poaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation (forests endangered by fires set to clean the land for agricultural purposes; forests also used as a source of fuel); soil erosion; mining (diamonds, gold, coltan - a mineral used in creating capacitors for electronic devices) causing environmental damage
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
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 People
Nationality: noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
Ethnic groups: over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) - make up about 45% of the population
Languages: French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba
Religions: Roman Catholic 29.9%, Protestant 26.7%, Kimbanguist 2.8%, other Christian 36.5%, Muslim 1.3%, other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) 1.2%, none 1.3%, unspecified .2% (2014 est.)
Population: 85,281,024 (July 2018 est.) note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Age structure: 0-14 years: 41.25% (male 17,735,697 /female 17,446,866)
15-24 years: 21.46% (male 9,184,871 /female 9,117,462)
25-54 years: 30.96% (male 13,176,714 /female 13,225,429)
55-64 years: 3.63% (male 1,472,758 /female 1,625,637)
65 years and over: 2.69% (male 974,293 /female 1,321,297) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 97.5 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 91.5 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 6 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 16.8 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 18.8 years
male: 18.6 years
female: 19 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.33% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 32.8 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 44.5% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 4.53% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 13.171 million KINSHASA (capital)
2.305 million Mbuji-Mayi
2.281 million Lubumbashi
1.335 million Kananga
1.167 million Kisangani
973,000 Bukavu (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 19.9 years (2013/14 est.) note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate: 693 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 66.7 deaths/1,000 live births male: 70.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 63.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 58.1 years male: 56.5 years
female: 59.7 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.54 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 20.4% (2013/14)
Physicians density: 0.09 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 81.1% of population
rural: 31.2% of population
total: 52.4% of population

unimproved:
urban: 18.9% of population
rural: 68.8% of population
total: 47.6% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 28.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 28.7% of population (2015 est.)
total: 28.7% of population (2015 est.)

unimproved:
urban: 71.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 71.3% of population (2015 est.)
total: 71.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.7% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 390,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 17,000 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 6.7% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 23.4% (2013)
Education expenditures: 1.5% of GDP (2017)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba (2016 est.)
total population: 77%
male: 88.5%
female: 66.5% (2016 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 10 years male: 11 years female: 9 years (2013)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 8.7% male: 11.3% female: 6.8% (2012 est.)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Democratic Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: DRC
local long form: Republique Democratique du Congo
local short form: RDC
former: Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo/Leopoldville, Congo/Kinshasa, Zaire
abbreviation: DRC (or DROC)
etymology: named for the Congo River, most of which lies within the DRC; the river name derives from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom that occupied its mouth at the time of Portuguese discovery in the late 15th century and whose name stems from its people the Bakongo, meaning "hunters"
Government type: semi-presidential republic
Capital: name: Kinshasa
geographic coordinates: 4 19 S, 15 18 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: founded as a trading post in 1881 and named Leopoldville in honor of King Leopold II of the Belgians, who controlled the Congo Free State, the vast central African territory that became the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1960; in 1966, Leopoldville was renamed Kinshasa, after a village of that name that once stood near the site

note: the DRC has two time zones
Administrative divisions: 26 provinces (provinces, singular - province); Bas-Uele (Lower Uele), Equateur, Haut-Katanga (Upper Katanga), Haut-Lomami (Upper Lomami), Haut-Uele (Upper Uele), Ituri, Kasai, Kasai-Central, Kasai-Oriental (East Kasai), Kinshasa, Kongo Central, Kwango, Kwilu, Lomami, Lualaba, Mai-Ndombe, Maniema, Mongala, Nord-Kivu (North Kivu), Nord-Ubangi (North Ubangi), Sankuru, Sud-Kivu (South Kivu), Sud-Ubangi (South Ubangi), Tanganyika, Tshopo, Tshuapa
Independence: 30 June 1960 (from Belgium)
National holiday: Independence Day, 30 June (1960)
Constitution: history: several previous; latest adopted 13 May 2005, approved by referendum 18-19 December 2005, promulgated 18 February 2006 amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the government, by either house of Parliament, or by public petition; agreement on the substance of a proposed bill requires absolute majority vote in both houses; passage requires a referendum only if both houses in joint meeting fail to achieve three-fifths majority vote; constitutional articles including the form of government, universal suffrage, judicial independence, political pluralism, and personal freedoms cannot be amended; amended 2011 (2017)
Legal system: civil law system primarily based on Belgian law, but also customary and tribal law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch: chief of state: President Felix TSHISEKEDI (since 24 January 2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Sylvestre ILUNGA Ilunkamba (since 20 May 2019); Deputy Prime Ministers Jose MAKILA, Leonard She OKITUNDU, Henri MOVA Sankanyi (since February 2018)

cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 December 2018 (next to be held in December 2023); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Felix TSHISEKEDI elected president; percent of vote - Felix TSHISEKEDI (UDPS) 38.6%, Martin FAYULU (Lamuka coalition) 34.8%, Emmanuel Ramazani SHADARY (PPRD) 23.9%, other 2.7%; note - election marred by serious voting irregularities
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of: Senate (108 seats; members indirectly elected by provincial assemblies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms) National Assembly (500 seats; 439 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 61 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 19 January 2007 (follow-on election has been delayed) National Assembly - last held on 30 December 2018

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPRD 22, MLC 14, FR 7, RCD 7, PDC 6, CDC 3, MSR 3, PALU 2, other 18, independent 26; composition - men 103, women 5, percent of women 4.6% National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPRD 62, UDPS 41, PPPD 29, MSR 27, MLC 22, PALU 19, UNC 17, ARC 16, AFDC 15, ECT 11, RRC 11, other 214 (includes numerous political parties that won 10 or fewer seats and 2 constituencies where voting was halted), independent 16; composition - men 456, women 44, percent of women  8.8%; total Parliament percent of women 8.1%;note - the November 2011 election was marred by violence including the destruction of ballots in 2 constituencies resulting in the closure of polling sites; election results were delayed 3 months, strongly contested, and continue to be unresolved
Judicial branch: highest courts: Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation (consists of 26 justices and organized into legislative and judiciary sections); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges) judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges nominated by the Judicial Service Council, an independent body of public prosecutors and selected judges of the lower courts; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges - 3 nominated by the president, 3 by the Judicial Service Council, and 3 by the legislature; judges appointed by the president to serve 9-year non-renewable terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years

subordinate courts: State Security Court; Court of Appeals (organized into administrative and judiciary sections); Tribunal de Grande; magistrates' courts; customary courts
Political parties and leaders: Christian Democrat Party or PDC [Jose ENDUNDO] Congolese Rally for Democracy or RCD [Azarias RUBERWA] Convention of Christian Democrats or CDC Engagement for Citizenship and Development or ECiDe [Martin FAYULU] Forces of Renewal or FR [Mbusa NYAMWISI] Lamuka coalition [Martin FAYULU] (includes ECiDe, MLC, Together for Change, CNB, and, Nouvel Elan) Movement for the Liberation of the Congo or MLC [Jean-Pierre BEMBA] Nouvel Elan [Adolphe MUZITO] Our Congo or CNB ("Congo Na Biso") [Freddy MATUNGULU] People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy or PPRD [Henri MOVA Sakanyi] Social Movement for Renewal or MSR [Pierre LUMBI] Together for Change (Ensemble") [Moise KATUMBI] Unified Lumumbist Party or PALU [Antoine GIZENGA] Union for the Congolese Nation or UNC [Vital KAMERHE] Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Felix TSHISEKEDI]
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, CEMAC, CEPGL, COMESA, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): leopard;
national colors: sky blue, red, yellow
National anthem: name: "Debout Congolaise" (Arise Congolese)
lyrics/music: Joseph LUTUMBA/Simon-Pierre BOKA di Mpasi Londi

note: adopted 1960; replaced when the country was known as Zaire; but readopted in 1997
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Francois Nkuna BALUMUENE (since 23 September 2015)
chancery: 1100 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 725, Washington D.C. 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 234-7690 through 7691
FAX: [1] (202) 234-2609 representative office: New York New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Michael A. HAMMER (since 22 December 2018)
embassy: 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa, Gombe
mailing address: Unit 2220, DPO AE 09828
telephone: [243] 081 556-0151
FAX: [243] 81 556-0175
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 Economy
The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - a nation endowed with vast natural resource wealth - continues to perform poorly. Systemic corruption since independence in 1960, combined with countrywide instability and intermittent conflict that began in the early-90s, has reduced national output and government revenue, and increased external debt. With the installation of a transitional government in 2003 after peace accords, economic conditions slowly began to improve as the government reopened relations with international financial institutions and international donors, and President KABILA began implementing reforms. Progress on implementing substantive economic reforms remains slow because of political instability, bureaucratic inefficiency, corruption, and patronage, which also dampen international investment prospects. Renewed activity in the mining sector, the source of most export income, boosted Kinshasa's fiscal position and GDP growth until 2015, but low commodity prices have led to slower growth, volatile inflation, currency depreciation, and a growing fiscal deficit. An uncertain legal framework, corruption, and a lack of transparency in government policy are long-term problems for the large mining sector and for the economy as a whole. Much economic activity still occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data. Poverty remains widespread in DRC, and the country failed to meet any Millennium Development Goals by 2015. DRC also concluded its program with the IMF in 2015. The price of copper – the DRC’s primary export - plummeted in 2015 and remained at record lows during 2016-17, reducing government revenues, expenditures, and foreign exchange reserves, while inflation reached nearly 50% in mid-2017 – its highest level since the early 2000s.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $68.6 billion (2017 est.) $66.33 billion (2016 est.) $64.78 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $41.44 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.4% (2017 est.) 2.4% (2016 est.) 6.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $800 (2017 est.) $800 (2016 est.) $800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 11.5% of GDP (2017 est.) 8.7% of GDP (2016 est.) 16.5% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 78.5% (2017 est.) government consumption: 12.7% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 15.9% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 25.7% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -32.8% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 19.7% (2017 est.) industry: 43.6% (2017 est.) services: 36.7% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cotton, cocoa, quinine, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, plantains, peanuts, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products
Industries: mining (copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, coltan, zinc, tin, tungsten), mineral processing, consumer products (textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes), metal products, processed foods and beverages, timber, cement, commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate: 1.6% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 31.36 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: n/a
industry: n/a
services: n/a
Unemployment rate: n/a
Population below poverty line: 63% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 34.7% (2006)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 42.1 (2012 est.)
Budget: revenues: 4.634 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 5.009 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 11.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -0.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 18.1% of GDP (2017 est.) 19.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 41.5% (2017 est.) 18.2% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$200 million (2017 est.) -$1.215 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $10.98 billion (2017 est.) $8.228 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: diamonds, copper, gold, cobalt, wood products, crude oil, coffee
Exports - partners: China 41.4%, Zambia 22.7%, South Korea 7.2%, Finland 6.2% (2017)
Imports: $10.82 billion (2017 est.) $10.21 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels
Imports - partners: China 19.9%, South Africa 18%, Zambia 10.4%, Belgium 9.1%, India 4.3%, Tanzania 4.2% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $457.5 million (31 December 2017 est.) $708.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $4.963 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $5.35 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
Exchange rates: Congolese francs (CDF) per US dollar - 1,546.8 (2017 est.) 1,010.3 (2016 est.) 1,010.3 (2015 est.) 925.99 (2014 est.) 925.23 (2013 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 9.046 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 7.43 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 422 million kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports: 20 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 2.587 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 2% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 98% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 19,160 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 20,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 180 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 21,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 21,140 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 991.1 million cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 3.146 million Mt (2017 est.)
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 Communications
Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 35,270,156
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 42 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: barely adequate wire and microwave radio relay service in and between urban areas; domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations; inadequate fixed-line infrastructure; efforts have been made to improve regulating the telecom sector; wars and social upheaval have not promoted advancement; a revised Telecommunications Act adopted in May 2018 (2018)

domestic: fixed-line connections only about 8 per 100 persons; given the backdrop of a wholly inadequate fixed-line infrastructure, the use of mobile-cellular services has surged and mobile teledensity is over 42 per 100 persons (2018)

international: country code - 243; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); the country was finally connected to low-cost, high-quality international bandwidth through the WACS submarine fiber optic cable in 2013, and SCPT is rolling out a fiber optic national backbone network with support from China
Broadcast media: state-owned TV broadcast station with near national coverage; more than a dozen privately owned TV stations - 2 with near national coverage; 2 state-owned radio stations are supplemented by more than 100 private radio stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available
Internet country code: .cd
Internet users: total: 3.016 million
percent of population: 3.8% (July 2016 est.)
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 Transportation
Airports: 198 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 26
(2017) over 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2017)
under 914 m: 1 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 172
(2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 20 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 87 (2013)
under 914 m: 65 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: 62 km gas, 77 km oil, 756 km refined products (2013)
Railways: total 4,007 km
(2014)
narrow gauge: 3,882 km 1.067-m gauge (858 km electrified) (2014) 125 1.000-m gauge
Roadways: total 152,373 km
(2015) paved: 3,047 km (2015)
unpaved: 149,326 km (2015) urban: 7,400 km (2015) non-urban: 144,973 km
Waterways: 15,000 km (including the Congo River, its tributaries, and unconnected lakes) (2011)
Merchant marine: total 27

by type: general cargo 12, oil tanker 1, other 14 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Banana river or lake port(s): Boma, Bumba, Kinshasa, Kisangani, Matadi, Mbandaka (Congo) Kindu (Lualaba)Bukavu, Goma (Lake Kivu)Kalemie (Lake Tanganyika)
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 Military
Military branches: Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Forces d'Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo, FARDC): Army, National Navy (La Marine Nationale), Congolese Air Force (Force Aerienne Congolaise, FAC) (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18-45 years of age for voluntary and compulsory military service (2012)
Military expenditures: 1.34% of GDP (2016) 1.36% of GDP (2015) 1% of GDP (2014) 1.25% of GDP (2013) 1.21% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: heads of the Great Lakes states and UN pledged in 2004 to abate tribal, rebel, and militia fighting in the region, including northeast Congo, where the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), organized in 1999, maintains over 16,500 uniformed peacekeepers; members of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army forces continue to seek refuge in Congo's Garamba National Park as peace talks with the Uganda Government evolve; the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Republic of the Congo is indefinite except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area; Uganda and DRC dispute Rukwanzi Island in Lake Albert and other areas on the Semliki River with hydrocarbon potential; boundary commission continues discussions over Congolese-administered triangle of land on the right bank of the Lunkinda River claimed by Zambia near the DRC village of Pweto; DRC accuses Angola of shifting monuments
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 216,451 (Rwanda), 172,809 (Central African Republic), 102,044 (South Sudan) (refugees and asylum seekers), 45,336 (Burundi) (2019) IDPs: 3.1 million (fighting between government forces and rebels since mid-1990s; conflict in Kasai region since 2016) (2018)
Illicit drugs: traffickers exploit lax shipping controls to transit pseudoephedrine through the capital; while rampant corruption and inadequate supervision leave the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center
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