The Democratic Republic of the Congo Portal
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (French: République Démocratique du Congo), also referred to as DRC, RDC, DR Congo or formerly as Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-Léopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa, and formerly Zaire (or Zaïre in French), is a state in Central Africa and the second largest country on the continent. It borders the Central African Republic and South Sudan on the north, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania on the east, Zambia and Angola on the south, and the Republic of the Congo on the west. The country enjoys access to the sea through a narrow forty kilometre stretch, following the Congo river into the Gulf of Guinea. The name "Congo" (meaning "hunter") is coined after the Kongo ethnic group, living in the lower Congo river area.
As many as 250 ethnic groups have been distinguished and named. The most numerous people are the Kongo, Luba, and Mongo. Although 700 local languages and dialects are spoken, the linguistic variety is bridged both by the use of French and the intermediary languages Kikongo, Tshiluba, Swahili, and Lingala.
The Abir Congo Company (founded as the Anglo-Belgian India Rubber Company (ABIR) and later known as the Compagnie du Congo Belge) was a company which harvested natural rubber in the Congo Free State, the private property of King Leopold II of Belgium. The company was founded with British and Belgian capital and was based in Belgium. By 1898 there was no longer any British shareholders and ABIR changed its name to the Abir Congo Company and changed its residence for tax purposes to the Free State. The company was granted a large concession in the north of the country and the rights to tax the inhabitants. This tax was taken in the form of rubber obtained from a relatively rare rubber vine. The collection system revolved around a series of trade posts along the two main rivers in the concession. Each post was commanded by a European agent and manned with armed sentries to enforce taxation and punish any rebels. (Read more...)
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Antoine Koffi Olomide (born August 13, 1958), is a Congolese soukous singer, producer, and composer.
Born in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo to a Congolese father and Ghanaian mother, Koffi grew up in Kinshasa. He went to France to study where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Paris. While in Paris, he began playing the guitar and writing songs. On his return to Congo he was a member of Viva la Musica, Papa Wemba's band. Koffi repopularized the slower style of soukous, which had fallen out of fashion. He dubbed this style Tcha Tcho, and it gained popularity outside Congo. Koffi's music can be quite controversial, taking on current events and topics considered taboo in some conservative societies. He has also participated in the salsa music project Africando.. (continued...)
"In our African tradition...can anyone tell me that he has ever known a village that has two chiefs?"
- — Mobutu Sese Seko, explaining the dominance of his ruling party
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