Capital city: Kinshasa
Population: Abt. 68 million
Area: 2,267,050 sq km
GDP per capita: 231 in 2011
GDP current US$: 16 in 2011
Ease of Business Ranking: 181 in 2013
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (French: République démocratique du Congo), sometimes referred to as DR Congo, Congo-Kinshasa or the DRC, is a country located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world. With a population of over 75 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the nineteenth most populous nation in the world, the fourth most populous nation in Africa, as well as the most populous officially Francophone country.
It borders the Central African Republic and South Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi in the east; Zambia and Angola to the south; the Republic of the Congo, the Angolan exclave of Cabinda, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; and is separated from Tanzania by Lake Tanganyika in the east. The country has access to the ocean through a 40-kilometre (25 mi) stretch of Atlantic coastline at Muanda and the roughly 9 km wide mouth of the Congo River which opens into the Gulf of Guinea. It has the second-highest total Christian population in Africa.
The Second Congo War, beginning in 1998, devastated the country and is sometimes referred to as the "African world war" because it involved nine African nations and twenty armed groups. Despite the signing of peace accords in 2003, fighting continued in the east of the country in 2007. There, the prevalence of rape and other sexual violence is described as the worst in the world. The war is the world's deadliest conflict since the Chinese Civil War, killing 5.4 million people since 1998. More than 90% were not killed in combat. They died from diseases that were both preventable and treatable (malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition) aggravated by displaced populations living in unsanitary and over-crowded conditions that lacked access to shelter, water, food and medicine. Forty seven percent of those deaths were children under five. Until today the ongoing conflicts excerbates the exhaustion of the country's great agricultural potential. This is one reason for a high mortality rate and prevalence of malnutrition.
Conflict for control of the mineral wealth is behind some of the most violent atrocities.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo was formerly, in chronological order, the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Republic of the Congo, and Zaire (Zaïre in French). Though it is located in the Central African UN subregion, the nation is also economically and regionally affiliated with Southern Africa as a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).