Moving to DCR (Congo) Expat Guide – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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In recent years, numerous expats have moved to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DCR) for a wide range of reasons. Working as a volunteer in a Congolese school or medical center is one path toward life in the DCR. Likewise, taking a job at an NGO or international organization can often lead to a long stay.
The Republic of Congo is located in Central Africa. More so, the capital city of the Congo, Brazzaville, lies on the country’s Atlantic coast about 75 miles upriver from its conurbation with Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). Not only is that, but it’s a former French colony and it maintains close relations with France.
Besides, it is also an active member of the African Union, and was formerly known as Middle Congo. Meanwhile, the official languages are French and Lingala, but many other languages are spoken in the country. And about 79% of Congolese are Christian, 16% are Muslim, 5% practice local religions (animism), and 1% are of other religions.
Today the Republic of Congo has abundant water resources with large navigable rivers like the Congo River, the Congo-Océan, and the Sangha River. And we can even tell you that Congo is home to the third-largest river in Africa. Have you been mesmerizing around to get the right information about moving to Congo?
If that sounds like a yes, look no further as we’ve compiled this article to meet your expectations. Here, we will walk you through a brief history about DCR (Congo), the interesting facts about this country, the pros, and cons and many others to mention a few. Would you like to know what we’ve unleashed? Continue reading!
Understanding a Brief History of the DCR (Congo)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DCR) gained its independence from Belgium in 1960, and therefore some of the events described in this guide may seem familiar to some readers. However, Congolese history has included periods of both prosperity and strife.
Throughout the early half of the 20th century, for instance, Congo was one of the wealthiest countries on Earth due to its vast reserves of raw minerals such as copper, gold, uranium, and diamonds. However, this wealth was never equally distributed among the population, and in 1960 in particular many citizens were living in deep poverty.
A military dictatorship took control of the government from 1971 to 1991, during which time a civil war broke out. In 1997 a new war began when rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda invaded from their respective countries. After more than six years, the rebels took power and installed a new government.
The president of this government, Joseph Kabila, retained his position after winning elections in 2006 and 2011. The Congolese population is estimated to be about 80 million. French is the official language; however, other languages spoken include Kikongo (or simply Kongo), Lingala, Tshiluba, Swahili, Kongo (a local language), and English. The greater region is also home to several relatively small indigenous groups that maintain their own cultural traditions.
As of 2015 the World Bank estimated the annual GDP per capita at US$141.45; however, this figure is misleading due to the large income gap between the labor force and the wealthy elite. The poverty rate is approximately 80%.
Life in the DCR (Congo)
The climate of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DCR) varies by location, with tropical weather in the equatorial south contrasted by semi-desert conditions in other parts. Brazzaville, for instance, which lies about 150 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, has a climate similar to that of southern Nigeria or northern Cameroon.
In terms of religion, Christianity is practiced by three-quarters of the population with Catholicism being prominent in cities and Protestantism present in more rural areas. Many traditional indigenous religions remain strong throughout the DCR as well. In fact, Joseph Kabila was raised as a traditionalist and considers himself to be a spiritual leader as well as president.
Professional opportunities in the DCR include working at a local NGO, international organization, or government agency. A wide range of jobs is available within these organizations, some being full-time while others are internships. Other possibilities include working in agriculture, industry, or construction; volunteering with NGOs; teaching English; and/or starting a business.
10 Fun Facts about Moving To DCR (Congo) In 2021
Back in the United States (and other Western countries), you’re used to doing things a certain way, and it’s hard to change that. Congolese culture is very different from Western cultures. However, there are certain things that will take time getting used to. The following section goes over the ten interesting facts to know before making the decision of moving to Congo.
- The first settlers were farmers and stone-tool makers who emigrated from Eurasia more than 10,000 years ago.
- The name “the Democratic Republic of the Congo” was adopted in 1964; before that it was known as, and is still referred to as the Belgian Congo.
- It is believed that Pygmies, today numbering some 29,000 living in the north of the country, were hunter-gatherers in this area. Bantu speakers originating in central Africa migrated to the region and introduced agriculture around 1000 BC which allowed farming and larger societies to develop.
- Congo was formerly part of the French colony of Equatorial Africa.
- It borders on former colonies English speaking “Zaire” (now known as The Democratic Republic of the Congo), Gabon, Central African Republic, Cameroon and South Sudan, while being separated from its western neighbor by only a short stretch of river across which lie the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo.
- The largest cities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are Kinshasa (approx 9 million inhabitants), Lubumbashi, Kisangani, Mbuji-Mayi, Goma, Kalemie.
- Famed for its wildlife, including primates, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been called “the most biodiverse African nation”.
- The country is home to some 80 different ethnic groups.
- Despite its name, residents have never been offered a democratic form of governance.
- The first written records of the Congo date back to 1850, during which time Belgium had established colonial control over the entire region.