1. It is very rich in minerals
The DRC has the largest reserves of coltan and is the biggest producer of the metal, which is needed in almost all electronic devices. The DRC produces more than half of the world’s cobalt, which is used in batteries and as an alloy in aircraft-engine parts. It is Africa’s largest producer of copper, and the world’s third-largest producer of diamonds.
2. It has endured prolonged armed conflict
The second Congo War, which raged between 1998 and 2003, resulted in over five million deaths, making it the deadliest armed conflict since the second World War.
3. It hosted one of Mohammed Ali’s epic fights
In 1974, when the DRC was still known as Zaire, the country hosted the world-famous title fight between heavyweight champion George Foreman, and challenger, Muhammed Ali. The Rumble in the Jungle, as it was known, has been called “arguably one of the greatest sporting events of the 20th century”. Ali won by a knockout in the eighth round.
4. It is very wet
The equator runs through the DRC, making it one of the world’s wettest regions: it has the highest frequency of thunderstorms in the world, and annual rainfall exceeds 2 000 mm in places. The Congo River is the world’s deepest river, and the second-longest in Africa after the Nile.
5. It is big and diverse
The DRC has a population of nearly 80 million people, which includes 200 ethnic groups who speak about 700 different languages and dialects. French is the country’s official language, as it was once a colony of Belgium.
See also: Copper production: Zambia vs the DRC