The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), often known as DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, or simply the Congo, is a nation in Central Africa. It was known as Zaire from 1971 to 1997, and the Belgian Congo from 1908 to 1960. The DRC is bounded to the north by the Central African Republic and South Sudan; to the east by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania; to the south by Zambia and Angola; to the west by the Republic of the Congo; and to the southwest by the Atlantic Ocean. It is the second-biggest country in Africa in terms of land area, the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the eleventh largest in the globe.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous officially Francophone country, the fourth most populous nation in Africa, and the eighteenth most populous country in the world, with a population of over 80 million people.
The Congolese Civil Wars, which began in 1996, brought Mobutu Sese Seko’s 32-year reign to an end and destroyed the country. The conflicts eventually encompassed nine African states, several sets of UN forces, and twenty armed factions, and killed 5.4 million people.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is abundant in natural resources, but political insecurity, a lack of infrastructure, deep-seated corruption, and decades of commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation have hampered holistic development. Apart from Kinshasa, the two main cities are Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi, both mining towns. The most important export of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is raw minerals, with China absorbing more than half of the DRC’s exports in 2012. According to the Human Development Index (HDI), DR Congo ranks 176 out of 187 nations in terms of human development in 2013.