Engage in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), officially known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a country located in central Africa. Bordered by nine neighboring countries, the DRC has a 25-mile coastline on the Atlantic Ocean but is otherwise landlocked, making it the second largest country on the continent after Algeria. Its capital, Kinshasa, situated on the Congo River, serves as the administrative, economic, and cultural center of the country. With an estimated population of over 111 million people, the DRC is home to a diverse range of ethnic groups and a rich cultural heritage. The country gained independence from Belgium in 1960 and was then known as the Republic of Zaire from 1971 to 1997. The name “Zaire” was chosen by then-ruler Mobutu Sese Seko, who aimed to give the country an authentically African identity. However, following the overthrow of Mobutu, the country’s original name, the Democratic Republic of Congo, was reinstated. The DRC has faced significant challenges, including a devastating civil war, but it continues to work towards stability, development, and the preservation of its unique history and cultural heritage.