Also known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo-Kinshasa began as a Belgian colony which was established in 1908. It received independence in 1960, and in 1965, Col. Joseph Mobutu (later known as Mobutu Sese Seko) took over, replaced later by Laurent Kabila and then Kabila’s son, Joseph Kabila, after Laurent Kabila was assassinated. Congo-Kinshasa has experienced a history of violence in the form of ethnic strife, civil war, and several changes in leadership, but in 2003 a transitional government was set up (with Joseph Kabila as the new president), and in 2006 the transitional government held successful democratic elections for the presidency, National Assembly, and provincial legislatures. Congo-Kinshasa has a total area of 2,344,858 sq km, which is slightly less than one-fourth the size of the U.S. Its total population is 73,599,190, and French is its official language. Natural resources of Congo-Kinshasa are cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, and timber. Natural hazards of Congo-Kinshasa include periodic droughts in the south, (seasonal) Congo River floods, and active volcanoes in the East along the Great Rift Valley. The religions of Congo-Kinshasa are Roman Catholic (50%), Protestant (20%), Kimbanguist (10%), and Muslim (10%), with 10% of the population labeling themselves as “other” (which includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs). The capital of Congo-Kinshasa is Kinshasa, and the national symbol of this country is the leopard.

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    Barbara A. Anderson

    Professor, Sociology

  • Daniel Brown

    Daniel Brown

    Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
    Associate Dean for Research, School of Natural Resources and the Environment

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    Rebecca Hardin

    Assistant Professor, Anthropology
    Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources and Environment

  • Nancy Rose Hunt

    Nancy Rose Hunt

    Associate Professor, History
    OB/GYN, Medical School

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    Mbala Nkanga

    Associate Professor of Theatre and Drama, School of Music, Theatre & Dance