( 1) BASIC FACTS Independence: 30 June 1960, formerly Belgian Congo, thereafter Zaire Leader: Josef Kabila, president since 26 January 2001 Capital: Kinshasa (main river port and international airport) .. , Other major cities: Mbuji-Mayi, Lubumbashi, Kisangani, Matadi (main seaport) Area: 2 344 885 km 2 Population: 48 mn ( 1997) Population growth: 3% (1990-1995) Urbanisation: 31% (1995) Languages: French (official), Kongo-Kituba, Lingala, Luba, Mongo-Nkunda, Swahili, Zande, Lunda HDI rank: 142 ( 1999) Life expectancy at birth: 51 years (1999) Adult literacy rate: 60% (1999) Gross enrolment ratio (all educational levels): 32% (1999) GNP: $5.3 bn (1995) GNP/capita: $120 (1995) GDP (average annual growth rate): 5,1% (1998) Foreign debt: $13,137 mn (1995); as% of GNP: 248% Development aid: $178 mn (1995) Currency: Congolese franc Comments: Despite its enormous natural resources, the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the world's poorest countries. The economy, based on the production of copper, cobalt, diamonds, and coffee for export, collapsed as a result of the protracted political crisis and unstable conditions since 1990. Towards the end of 1996 the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL), led by Laurent Kabila, embarked on a military campaign to restore order
Human Rights Law in Africa Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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