Democratic Republic of the Congo Population
The ethnic background of Democratic Republic of the Congo is extremely diversified, although the majority of the population belongs to the two great Bantu and Sudanese families: but the same linguistic fragmentation (about 270 Bantu languages and about 50 Sudanese, plus several other languages of various origins, including the Kisuaheli, widespread in the eastern regions) illustrates the cultural variety of the country. The Bantu populations (among the main ethnic groups: Kundu-Mongo, Kongo, Mayambe, Teke, Ngala, Lunda, Luba), majority, occupy the Congolese depression and the southern highlands; Sudanese ones (Zande, Mangbetu) have been settled, from relatively recent times, in the northern and north-eastern area close to the upper Nile basin, from which they come, like some Nilotic populations of modest numerical entity; then there are small residual pygmy groups (Bambuti, Babinga), scattered in the central-northern regions, and relatively Arabized populations in the eastern lacustrine regions. The typological position of the various ethnic groups presents, of course, often insurmountable problems due to mutual contamination. Such fragmentation also gives rise, with great frequency, to local rebellions, inter-ethnic clashes and secessionist attempts, often aggravated or aroused by external events or interests, such as, for example, was the Katanga’s attempt to secede, or how it happened. in the years 1994-95 on the occasion of the arrival of about 1.5 million Rwandan refugees in the eastern regions.
According to PLUS-SIZE-TIPS, the demographic trend is largely in excess (growth rate of 3.2% per year in 2008, despite an infant mortality of over 83% and a life expectancy of just over 50 years), and shows no signs of slowing down significantly stable. Although the main endemic diseases of the region (responsible in the past for very high levels of mortality) have been strongly opposed on the therapeutic level, very serious shortcomings are still found in terms of prophylaxis, hygiene and territorial distribution of health services. Moreover, and more generally, the conditions of access to all services for the population are lacking, as demonstrated by the illiteracy rate (just under 40%) and the low percentage of residents who have access to drinking water. The picture is further aggravated by recurring natural disasters (drought in the South, seasonal flooding of the Congo River and eruptions to the East, in the Rift Valley). More than half of the population lives in small isolated rural villages, often located on the banks of rivers, which in many areas are the only means of communication.
The urban phenomenon has developed impetuously especially since the 1960s: the capital, Kinshasa, which in 1957 had 370,000 residents, exceeded 7 million in 2004. The main other cities are: Lubumbashi, in southern Katanga; Mbuji-Mayi, in Eastern Kasai; Kisangani, in the Eastern Province; Kananga, in Western Kasai.
Alongside French, the numerous local languages are commonly used.A large part of the population practices the traditional animist rites, even if the proselytism of Christian missionaries has meant that, officially, almost half of the population of Democratic Republic of the Congo is professed Catholic and almost a third adheres to Protestant cults. There is also a small share of Muslims.
CONGO. – The country occupies the center of the African continent and has a coastal development on the Atlantic of only 40 km. The largest agricultural areas are located mainly in the provinces of the Eastern Equator, with 40% of indigenous crops and 60% of plantations. But the agricultural area, despite its recent developments, occupies only 1% of the country’s surface. The most conspicuous product, also in terms of food, is constituted by cassava, followed in the food sector by bananas, sweet potatoes, corn and rice. Also important in terms of exports are coffee, which has spread in the Eastern Province (coffea robusta) and in that of Kivu (coffea arabica) starting from 1920, the oil palm, in the center of the wettest basin and in the Kasai, the peanut, in continuous development starting from 1951-52 in the Kasai and in the eastern province, the sugar cane, the cotton, rubber and legumes. L ‘ Hevea brasiliensis thrives in plantations in the equatorial regions.
The centers of mining production (which makes up almost two thirds of exports) are Bukavu, Élisabethville and Stanleyville. The cupriferous products are in the hands of the Union Minière du Haut Katanga with the related concentration and refining plants. Also important are the deposits of zinc (Kipushi), tin (Maniema), sometimes associated with tantalum, manganese (Kisenge, Kamata), whose extraction has developed particularly since 1950, of uranium (Shinkolobwe), for which use there has been an agreement with the USA since 1942. In addition, Democratic Republic of the Congo Belga quantitatively supplies 70% of the world production of industrial diamonds and 18% of ornamental diamonds, production limited to Kasai. In addition to gold and silver, volframium, colombium, cobalt and germanium are also extracted. Coal production is insufficient; the oil is all imported from abroad.