Zaire 1995Zaire

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Zaire - Introduction 1995
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Background: Since 1994, Zaire has been rent by ethnic strife and civil war touched off by a massive inflow of refugees from the fighting in Rwanda and Burundi. Troops from Uganda Rwanda Zimbabwe Angola and Namibia have intervened in this devastating conflict.

Zaire - Geography 1995
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Location: Central Africa, northeast of Angola

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceAfrica

Total: total area: 2,345,410 km²; land area: 2,267,600 km²; comparative area: slightly more than one-quarter the size of US

Land boundaries: total 10,271 km, 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: exclusive economic zone:boundaries with neighbors; 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, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, coal, hydropower potential
Land use

Land use: arable land:3%; permanent crops:0%; meadows and pastures:4%; forest and woodland:78%; other:15%

Irrigated land: 100 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: straddles Equator; very narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River and is only outlet to South Atlantic Ocean; dense tropical rain forest in central river basin and eastern highlands

Zaire - People 1995
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Population: 44,060,636 (July 1995 est.)
Growth rate: 3.18% (1995 est.)

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, Lingala, Swahili, Kingwana, Kikongo, Tshiluba

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

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure: 0-14 years:48% (female 10,522,368; male 10,527,451); 15-64 years:50% (female 11,211,353; male 10,630,118); 65 years and over:2% (female 647,307; male 522,039) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 3.18% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 48.33 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 16.57 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.); note:in 1994, more than one million refugees fled into Zaire to escape the fighting between the Hutus and the Tutsis in Rwanda and Burundi; a small number of these are returning to their homes in 1995 despite fear of the ongoing violence; additionally, Zaire is host to 105,000 Angolan, more than 250,000 Burundian and 100,000 Sudanese refugees; repatriation of Angolan refugees was suspended in May 1994 because of the recurrence of fighting in Angola; if present peace accords hold, repatriation of Angolans may recommence

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: poaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation; 1.2 million Rwandan refugees are responsible for significant deforestation, soil erosion, and wildlife poaching in eastern Zaire; natural hazards:periodic droughts in south; volcanic activity; international agreements:party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83; signed, but not ratified - Desertification, Environmental Modification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 108.7 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population:47.54 years; male:45.68 years; female:49.46 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.7 children born/woman (1995 est.)

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: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.); total population:72%; male:84%; female:61%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Zaire - Government 1995
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Zaire; conventional short form: Zaire; local long form: Republique du Zaire; local short form: Zaire; former:Belgian Congo Congo/Leopoldville Congo/Kinshasa

Government type: republic with a strong presidential system

Capital: Kinshasa

Administrative divisions: 10 regions (regions, singular - region) and 1 town* (ville); Bandundu, Bas-Zaire, Equateur, Haut-Zaire, Kasai-Occidental, Kasai-Oriental, Kinshasa*, Maniema, Nord-Kivu, Shaba, Sud-Kivu

Dependent areas

Independence: 30 June 1960 (from Belgium)

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

Constitution: 24 June 1967, amended August 1974, revised 15 February 1978; amended April 1990; new transitional constitution promulgated in April 1994

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

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch: chief of state:President Marshal MOBUTU Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga (since 24 November 1965) election last held 29 July 1984 (next to be held by 9 July 1995); results - President MOBUTU was reelected without opposition; head of government:Prime Minister Leon KENGO wa Dondo (since 14 June 1994); cabinet:National Executive Council; appointed by mutual agreement of the president and the prime minister

Legislative branch: unicameral; parliament:a single body consisting of the High Council of the Republic and the Parliament of the Transition with membership equally divided between presidential supporters and opponents

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

Political parties and leaders


Diplomatic representation
In the us: chief of mission:Ambassador TATANENE Manata; chancery:1800 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,009; telephone:[1] (202) 234-7,690, 7,691
From the us: chief of mission:(vacant); Charge d'Affaires John M. YATES; embassy:310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa; mailing address:Unit 31,550, Kinshasha; APO AE 9,828; telephone:[243] (12) 21,532, 21,628; FAX:[243] (12) 21,534 ext. 2,308, 21,535 ext. 2,308; (88) 43,805, 43,467

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 1995
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Economy overview: Zaire's economy has continued to disintegrate although Prime Minister KENGO has had some success in slowing the rate of economic decline. While meaningful economic figures are difficult to come by, Zaire's hyperinflation, chronic large government deficits, and plunging mineral production have made the country one of the world's poorest. Most formal transactions are conducted in hard currency as indigenous bank notes have lost almost all value, and a barter economy now flourishes in all but the largest cities. Most individuals and families hang on grimly through subsistence farming and petty trade. The government has not been able to meet its financial obligations to the International Monetary Fund or put in place the financial measures advocated by the IMF. Although short-term prospects for improvement are dim, improved political stability would boost Zaire's long-term potential to effectively exploit its vast wealth of mineral and agricultural resources.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 4% (1994 est.)

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, cigarettes, processed foods and beverages), cement, diamonds

Industrial production growth rate: -20% (1993); accounts for 16% of GDP

Labor force: 15 million (25% of the labor force comprises wage earners); by occupation:agriculture 75%, industry 13%, services 12% (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:$N/A; expenditures:$N/A, including capital expenditures of $N/A

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: $362 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
Commodoties: copper, coffee, diamonds, cobalt, crude oil
Partners: US, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, UK, Japan, South Africa

Imports: $356 million (f.o.b., 1993 est.)
Commodoties: consumer goods, foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels
Partners: South Africa, US, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $9.2 billion (May 1992 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: new zaires (Z) per US$1 - 3,275.71 (December 1994), 1,194.12 (1994), 2.51 (1993); zaire (Z) per US$1 - 645,549 (1992), 15,587 (1991), 719 (1990); note:on 22 October 1993 the new zaire, equal to 3,000,000 old zaires, was introduced

Zaire - Energy 1995
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 6.2 billion kWh; consumption per capita:133 kWh (1993)

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 1995
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: NA telephones; local:NA; intercity:NA barely adequate wire and microwave service in and between urban areas; 14 domestic earth stations; international:1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Zaire - Military 1995
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $46 million, 1.5% of GDP (1990)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Zaire - Transportation 1995
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: total:270; with paved runways over 3,047 m:4; with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m:3; with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m:15; with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m:2; with paved runways under 914 m:97; with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m:22; with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m:127

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: petroleum products 390 km



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

Merchant marine: none

Ports and terminals

Zaire - Transnational issues 1995
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Disputes international: Tanzania-Zaire-Zambia tripoint in Lake Tanganyika may no longer be indefinite since it is reported that the indefinite section of the Zaire-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

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