Politics and Economy of Democratic Republic of the Congo

State structure and political system of the Congo

In March 2003, representatives of the government, rebel, party and civil organizations signed a document to end the civil war and restore peace. The country has introduced a two-year transitional period, during which a new Constitution will be prepared and after which presidential and parliamentary elections will be held. The duties of the president and head of the transitional government are entrusted to J. Kabila. June 30, 2003 formed an interim coalition government, including representatives of the ruling regime and the opposition. After the census, preparations for the first multi-party elections will begin. Check cancermatters for political system of Democratic Republic of the Congo.

During the transitional period, the president is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the country’s Armed Forces. They exercise legislative and executive power. The functions of the transitional parliament are performed by the Constituent and Legislative Assembly.

Administratively, the country is divided into 11 provinces. The largest cities: Lubumba-shi (more than 1 million inhabitants), Kinshasa, Mbuji-Mayi (875 thousand people), Kolwezi (780 thousand), Kisangani (500 thousand), Likasi (365 thousand), Boma ( 342 thousand people).

On January 31, 1999, the activities of political parties banned in May 1997 are allowed. The largest political parties are the People’s Revolution Movement (PDR, founded in 1967), the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (SDSP, founded in 1982), the Union of Federalists and Independent Republicans (founded in 1990) and rebel organizations – the Congolese Movement for Liberation (MLC) and the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), established in 1998, the Congolese Rally for Democracy – Movement for Liberation (RCD-ML), which arose in 1999 as a result of a split in the RCD.

A single trade union center, the National Union of Working People of the Congo, was founded in 1967 and unites the country’s 16 trade unions.

The armed forces of the DRC have approx. 60 thousand people

The DRC has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR on July 7, 1960).

Economy of the Congo

GDP $5.2 billion, or $80 per capita (2001). The country’s economy is in crisis. In 2000–01, GDP decreased by an average of 5.25% annually. GDP structure: agriculture 54%, industry 9%, services 37%. The economically active population is 14.5 million people: 65% are employed in agriculture, 16% in industry, 19% in the service sector. Inflation 358% (2001).

The leading branch of the economy is the mining industry, which provides St. 80% of the country’s export earnings. Deposits are being developed (mined in 1998, thousand tons): copper (42.2), cobalt (2.0), zinc (1.2), diamonds (18 million carats), gold (1 t), oil (1. 2 million tons), coal (95 thousand tons), forest resources are being developed. Of export importance are coffee (average annual production in 2000-02 is 58 thousand tons), rubber (3.5 thousand tons), oil palm, cotton (9 thousand tons), cocoa (7 thousand tons), sugar cane (1.3 million tons), tea (3 thousand tons). For domestic consumption, cassava (16.8 million tons), corn (1 million tons), rice (325-350 thousand tons), coconut, banana plantan, vegetable crops are grown. Livestock (2001, million heads): cattle – 1.1, goats – 4.1, sheep – 1, pigs – 1.2. Annual fish catch approx. 150 thousand tons

The manufacturing industry is represented by mining enterprises, oil refining, textile, food, woodworking industries, production of building materials, etc. Electricity generation is 5.3 billion kWh (2000).

The length of railways is 5138 km, roads – 157 thousand km, waterways – 15 thousand km, oil pipeline – 390 km. Major ports are Banana, Boma, Bumba, Matadi, Kinshasa, Mbandaka, Kisangani, Kindu. There are 232 airports, 24 of modern class.

The leadership of the country is faced with the task of overcoming the economic recession, restoring agricultural and industrial production, which suffered during the years of the civil war, which is possible only in conditions of internal political stability.

External debt 12.9 billion US dollars, deductions on account of its repayment 1.7% of export earnings (2001). Unemployment – 85% (2001).

Foreign trade balance in 2001 $1,794 million: export $750 million (diamonds, copper, coffee, cobalt, crude oil); imports $1,024 million (food, mining machinery, vehicles and equipment, fuel). Main trading partners: for export – Benelux (62%), USA (18%), South Africa, Finland, Italy; imports – South Africa (28%), Benelux (14%), Nigeria (9%), Kenya (7%), China.

The country introduced compulsory six-year primary education. Primary education covered approx. 60% of children of the appropriate age. Higher education is represented by universities in Kinshasa, Limet, Kisangani, Lubumbashi.

Politics of Democratic Republic of the Congo