Table 60: DRC QUICK FACTS
2,344,858 sq. km
Kinshasa (8.8 million inhabitants – 2011)
Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Mbuji-Mayi, Kananga, Kisangani, Bukavu, Goma
US$29.39 billion (2013)
77.43 million (July 2014)
34.3% of total population (2011)
Rate of Urbanization:
4.19% annual change
Tropical climate, hot and humid, cooler and drier in Southern highlands, wetter in eastern highlands
The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo – a nation endowed with vast natural resource wealth – is slowly recovering after decades of decline. The economy remained strong in 2013 with growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 8.1% (against 7.2% in 2012), thanks to mining, trade, construction and agriculture. Growth has benefited from the improvement in some aspects of the business environment, the reconstruction of infrastructure and strong demand. Mining has been the main driver of growth, and several mining companies have developed from exploration to production since 2013.
Systemic corruption since independence in 1960, combined with countrywide instability and conflict that began in the mid-90s has dramatically reduced national output and government revenue and increased external debt. An uncertain legal framework, corruption, and lack of transparency in government policy are long-term problems for the mining sector and for the economy as a whole. Much economic activity still occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data.
With the installation of a transitional government in 2003 after peace accords, economic conditions slowly began to improve as the transitional government reopened relations with international financial institutions and international donors, and President Kabila began implementing reforms. Progress has been slow to reach the interior of the country although clear changes are evident in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi. In 2012, the DRC updated its business laws by adhering to OHADA, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa. The country marked its 10th consecutive year of positive economic expansion in 2012.