Zaire 1990Zaire

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Volotea Air

Zaire - Introduction 1990
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Background: Mobutu Sese Seko came to power in a coup in 1965, only 5 years after the Democratic Republic of the Congo had become independent from Belgium. He renamed the country Zaire in 1971.

Zaire - Geography 1990
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: 10,271 km total; Angola 2,511 km, Burundi 233 km, Central African Republic 1,577 km, Congo 2,410 km, Rwanda 217 km, Sudan 628 km, Uganda 765 km, Zambia 1,930 km

Coastline: 37 km

Maritime claims: Territorial sea:12 nm

Climate: tropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and drier in southern highlands; cooler and wetter in eastern highlands; north of Equator--wet season April to October, dry season December to February; south of Equator--wet season November to March, dry season April to October

Terrain: vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east


Natural resources: cobalt, copper, cadmium, crude oil, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, coal, hydropower potential
Land use

Land use: 3% arable land; NEGL% permanent crops; 4% meadows and pastures; 78% forest and woodland; 15% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: straddles Equator; very narrow strip of land is only outlet to South Atlantic Ocean

Zaire - People 1990
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Population: 36,589,468 (July 1990), growth rate 3.3% (1990)

Nationality: noun--Zairian(s); adjective--Zairian

Ethnic groups: over 200 African ethnic groups, the majority are Bantu; four largest tribes--Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population

Languages: French (official), Lingala, Swahili, Kingwana, Kikongo, Tshiluba

Religions: 50% Roman Catholic, 20% Protestant, 10% Kimbanguist, 10% Muslim, 10% other syncretic sects and traditional beliefs

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 46 births/1000 population (1990)

Death rate: 13 deaths/1000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: NEGL migrants/1000 population (1990)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: dense tropical rainforest in central river basin and eastern highlands; periodic droughts in south

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 103 deaths/1000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 51 years male, 55 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 6.2 children born/woman (1990)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 55% males, 37% females

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Zaire - Government 1990
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Government type: republic with a strong presidential system

Capital: Kinshasa

Administrative divisions: 8 regions (regions, singular--region) and 1 town* (ville); Bandundu, Bas-Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equateur, Haut-Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kasai-Occidental, Kasai-Oriental, Kinshasa*, Kivu, Shaba; note--there may now be 10 regions with the elimination of Kivu and addition of Maniema, Nord-Kivu, and Sud-Kivu

Dependent areas

Independence: 30 June 1960 (from Belgium; formerly Belgian Congo, then Congo/Leopoldville, then Congo/Kinshasa)

National holiday: Anniversary of the Regime (Second Republic), 24 November (1965)

Constitution: 24 June 1967, amended August 1974, revised 15 February 1978

Legal system: based on Belgian civil law system and tribal law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal and compulsory at age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State--President Marshal MOBUTU Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga (since 24 November 1965); Head of Government--Prime Minister LUNDA Bululu (since 25 April 1988)

Legislative branch: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Gendarmerie, Logistics Corps, Special Presidential Division

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

Political parties and leaders


Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador (vacant), Charge d'Affaires MUKENDI Tambo a Kabila; Chancery at 1800 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington DC 20,009; telephone (202) 234-7,690 or 7,691; US--Ambassador William C. HARROP; Embassy at 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa (mailing address is APO New York 9,662); telephone 243o (12) 25,881 through 25,886; there is a US Consulate General in Lubumbashi

Flag descriptionflag of Zaire: light green with a yellow disk in the center bearing a black arm holding a red flaming torch; the flames of the torch are blowing away from the hoist side; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Zaire - Economy 1990
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Economy overview: In 1988, in spite of large mineral resources and one of the most developed and diversified economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo had a GDP per capita of $195, one of the lowest on the continent. Agriculture, a key sector of the economy, employs 75% of the population but generates under 30% of GDP. The main impetus for economic development has been the extractive industries. Mining and mineral processing account for about one-third of GDP and two-thirds of total export earnings. During the period 1983-88 the economy experienced slow growth, high inflation, a rising foreign debt, and a drop in foreign exchange earnings. Recent increases in foreign prices for copper--a key export earner--and other minerals offer some hope of reversing the economic decline. Democratic Republic of the Congo is the world's largest producer of diamonds.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: cash crops--coffee, palm oil, rubber, quinine; food crops--cassava, bananas, root crops, corn

Industries: mining, mineral processing, consumer products (including textiles, footwear, and cigarettes), processed foods and beverages, cement, diamonds

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force:
15,000,000; 75% agriculture, 13%
industry, 12%
services; 13% wage earners (1981); 51% of population of working age (1985)

Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $856 million; expenditures $2.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $655 million (1988)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $2.2 billion (f.o.b., 1988)
Commodities: copper 37%, coffee 24%, diamonds 12%, cobalt, crude oil
Partners: US, Belgium, France, FRG, Italy, UK, Japan

Imports: $1.9 billion (f.o.b., 1988)
Commodities: consumer goods, foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels
Partners: US, Belgium, France, FRG, Italy, Japan, UK

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $8.6 billion (December 1989 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: zaire (Z) per US$1--465.000 (January 1989), 381.445 (1989), 187.070 (1988), 112.403 (1987), 59.625 (1986), 49.873 (1985)

Zaire - Energy 1990
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Zaire - Communication 1990
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Zaire - Military 1990
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: $67 million (1988)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Zaire - Transportation 1990
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 312 total, 258 usable; 25 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways over 3,659 m; 6 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 71 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: refined products 390 km



Waterways: 15,000 km including the Congo, its tributaries, and unconnected lakes

Merchant marine: 4 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 41,802 GRT/60,496 DWT; includes 1 passenger cargo, 3 cargo

Ports and terminals

Zaire - Transnational issues 1990
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Disputes international: Tanzania-Democratic Republic of the Congo-Zambia tripoint in Lake Tanganyika may no longer be indefinite since it is reported that the indefinite section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo-Zambia boundary has been settled; long section with Congo along the Congo River is indefinite (no division of the river or its islands has been made)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for domestic consumption

World Nomads

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