Open main menu

ZAIREEdit

World Factbook (1982) Zaire.jpg
(See reference map VII)

LANDEdit

2,343,950 km2; 22% agricultural land (1% cultivated), 45% forested, 33% other

Land boundaries: 9,902 km

WATEREdit

Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm

Coastline: 37 km

PEOPLEEdit

Population: 30,289,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.8%

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

Ethnic divisions: 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

Religion: 60% Christian, 35% animist, 5% other

Language: French, English, Lingala, Swahili, Kikongo, and Chiluba are all classified as official languages

Literacy: 5% fluent in French, about 35% have an acquaintance with French

Labor force: about 8 million, but only about 13% in wage structure

GOVERNMENTEdit

Official name: Republic of Zaire (until October 1971 known as Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Type: republic; constitution establishes strong presidential system

Capital: Kinshasa

Political subdivisions: eight regions and federal district of Kinshasa

Legal system: based on Belgian civil law system and tribal law; new constitution promulgated February 1978; legal education at National University of Zaire; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Independence Day, 30 June; Anniversary of the Regime, 24 November

Branches: President elected 1970 for seven-year term; General Mobutu reelected December 1977; limits on reelection removed by new constitution; national Legislative Council of 210 members elected for five-year term; the official party is the supreme political institution

Government leader: Lt. Gen. MOBUTU Sese Seko, President

Suffrage: universal and compulsory over age 18

Elections: elections for rural collectivities urban zone councils, and the Legislative Council of the Popular Movement of the Revolution to be held May-September 1982; presidential referendum/election held December 1977

Political parties and leaders: Popular Movement of the Revolution (MPR), only legal party, organized from the president on down

Voting strength: MPR slate polled 97.5% of vote in 1977 Political Bureau; elections in February 1980 President Mobutu announced there would be no further elections to the Political Bureau

Communists: no Communist party

Member of: AFDB, APC, CIPEC, EAMA, EIB (associate), FAO, G-77, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMCO, IMF, IPU, ITC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OCAM, UDEAC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

ECONOMYEdit

GDP: $6.3 billion (1980 est.), $225 per capita; 1.8% current annual growth rate

Agriculture: main cash crops—coffee, palm oil, rubber, quinine; main food crops—manioc, bananas, root crops, corn; some provinces self-sufficient

Fishing: catch 115,182 metric tons (1979)

Major industries: mining, mineral processing, light industries

Electric power: 1,694,000 kW capacity (1980); 4.2 billion kWh produced (1980), 143 kWh per capita

Exports: $2,089 million (f.o.b., 1980); copper, cobalt, diamonds, petroleum, coffee

Imports: $1,469 million (c.i.f., 1980); consumer goods, foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels

Major trade partners: Belgium, US, and West Germany

Budget: 1980 revenue, $1,250.2 million; current expenditures, $1,242.3 million, capital expenditures $206.5 million

Monetary conversion rate: 1 zaire=US$0.182 (as of June 1981)

Fiscal year: calendar year

COMMUNICATIONSEdit

Railroads: 5,254 km total; 3,968 km L067-meter gauge (851 km electrified), 125 km 1,000-meter gauge; 136 km 0.615-meter gauge, 1,025 km 0.600-meter gauge

Highways: 168,979 km total; 2,654 km bituminous, 58,129 km improved earth; 108,196 km unimproved earth

Inland waterways: comprising the Zaire, its tributaries, and unconnected lakes, the waterway system affords over 15,000 km of navigable routes

Pipelines: refined products, 390 km

Ports: 2 major (Matadi, Boma), 1 minor

Civil air: 56 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 324 total, 287 usable; 26 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways over 3,659 m, 5 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 68 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: barely adequate wire and radio-relay service, 30,300 telephones (0.1 per 100 popl.); 12 AM, 1 FM, and 17 TV stations; 1 Atlantic Ocean satellite station and 13 domestic satellite stations

DEFENSE FORCESEdit

Military manpower: males 15-49, 6,702,000; 3,386,000 fit for military service