Vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east
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)
Nationality: Congolese (singular and plural)
Population: 77,433,744 (July 2014 est.) Note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AID
Languages: French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba
Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanquist 10%, Muslim 10%, other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) 10%
The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a nation endowed with vast natural resource wealth, is slowly recovering after decades of decline. Systemic corruption since independence in 1960, combined with country-wide instability and conflict that began in the mid-90s, has dramatically reduced national output and government revenue and increased external debt. With the installation of a transitional government in 2003 after peace accords, economic conditions slowly began to improve.
The Congo is a poor country by Western standards. It is far from the poorest country in Africa, however. Outside of the cities, houses are commonly built out of mud brick and are in constant need of repair. Many people can afford corrugated zinc roofs on their homes. Those who cannot use thatch. Buildings in urban areas are usually made out of concrete blocks. There are several steel and glass office towers in Brazzaville, though they were severely damaged by the civil war in 1997.
US Military Presence/Support