Democratic Republic of Congo: 5 Facts Democratic Republic of Congo: 5 Facts

The North Kivu region is labeled with a blue marker above. Check out a story about the heroic effort to bring solar-powered refrigerators to medical clinics in the area.

(National Geographic MapMaker)
  • Congo gained independence from Belgium in 1960. Its history is punctuated by fighting among armed factions.

  • The average life expectancy among the population of 80 million is about 57 years old.

  • More than 70 percent of the population lacks access to modern sanitation facilities.

  • Nine percent of people have access to electricity, which comes almost entirely from hydroelectric plants.

  • It's the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa.

Source: CIA Factbook, USAID