Country Description

General information

Official name: Democratic Republic of Congo

Government: Republic

Area: 2,345,409 sq. km

Capital : Kinshasa

Official languages: French  

Other languages: Lingala, Tshiluba, Kikongo, Swahili

Population: 69.3 million (est. 2014)

Religions: Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslim 10%, other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) 10%

Political Data

Independence day: 30 June 1960 from Belgium

Structure of Government:

Executive: The President of the Republic is the Head of the State. The President of the Republic is directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term). The Prime Minister is appointed by the President.  Ministers of State are appointed by the President.

Legislative: A bicameral Parliament consisting of two chambers: the Senate and the National Assembly. The Senate consists of members elected by Provincial Assemblies to serve 5-year terms. Deputies of the National Assembly serve 5-year terms.

Judicial: The Supreme Court of Justice and the Constitutional Court are the highest courts. The State Security Court, the Court of Appeals, the Magistrates' Courts and Customary Courts are all subordinate courts.

Foreign policy: The Democratic Republic of Congo is a state member of the ACP, AFDB, AU, GLEC, COMESA, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WTO, etc.

Economic Data

GDP: 32,96 billion USD (World Bank est. 2014)

Main economic resources: mining (copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, coltan, zinc, tin, tungsten), mineral processing, consumer products (textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes), metal products, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cotton, cocoa, etc.

Legal System

Civil legal system based on Belgian and tribal law

Useful Links

National: Constitution and the Government of DRC Portal

Regional: Visit the website of: AU, CEMAC, COMESA, OHADA, etc.

International: see the United Nations Treaty Online Collection

National Partners of African Law Library

www.africanlawlibrary.net/partners