The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), formerly known as the Republic of Zaire, is geographically the largest state in Southern and Central Africa. It is situated at the heart of Africa, and lies on the Equator. Potentially one of the richest mining countries in Africa, the DRC was admitted into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 1998. The DRC was accepted as a member of SADC when the 17th Summit agreed that it satisfied the criteria for the admission of new members. This was formalised when the instruments of accession were signed by the government on 8 September.
More than half the country is covered by dense tropical rainforest. The country is traversed by numerous rivers with the Congo River being the largest. Congo became independent on 30 June, 1960. However, during the period between independence and 1999, the DRC suffered two civil wars, erupting and dying off at different times.
Please refer to the latest SADC Statistics Yearbook