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Economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Wikis


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Economy of Democratic Republic of Congo
Currency Congolese Franc (CDF)
Fiscal year Calendar year
Trade organisations AU, WTO, SADC
Statistics [1]
GDP ranking 81st (2004) [2]
GDP $42.74 billion (2004)
GDP growth 7.5% (2004)
GDP per capita $700 (2004)
GDP by sector agriculture (55%), industry (11%), services (34%) (2000)
Inflation 14% (2004)
Pop below poverty line N/A
Labour force 14.51 million (1993)
Labour force by occupation N/A
Unemployment N/A (2003)
Main industries mining (diamonds, copper, zinc), mineral processing, consumer products (including textiles, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods and beverages), cement, commercial ship repair
Trading Partners [3]
Exports $1.417bn (2002)
Export Commodities diamonds, copper, crude oil, coffee, cobalt
Main partners Belgium 42.5%, Finland 17.8%, Zimbabwe 12.2%, U.S. 9.2%, People's Republic of China 6.5% (2004)
Imports $933 million (2002)
Imports Commodities foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels
Main Partners South Africa 18.5%, Belgium 15.6%, France 10.9%, U.S. 6.2%, Germany 5.9%, Kenya 4.9% (2004)
Public finances [4]
Public debt N/A
Revenues $269 million (2004)
Expenses $244 million (1996)
Economic aid $195.3 million (recipient) (1995)
Woman carrying bananas.

Sparsely populated in relation to its area, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to a vast potential of natural resources and mineral wealth, yet the economy of the DRC has declined drastically since the mid-1980s. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, accounting for 57.9% of GDP in 1997. Main cash crops include coffee, palm oil, rubber, cotton, sugar, tea, and cocoa. Food crops include cassava, plantains, maize, groundnuts, and rice. In 1996, agriculture employed 66% of the work force. Rich in minerals, the DRC has a difficult history of predatory mineral extraction, which has been at the heart of many struggles within the country for many decades, but particularly in the 1990s.


International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) Trust Fund for the Congo.

Poor infrastructure, an uncertain legal framework, corruption, and lack of openness in government economic policy and financial operations remain a brake on investment and growth. A number of IMF and World Bank missions have met with the new government to help it develop a coherent economic plan but associated reforms are on hold. Faced with continued currency depreciation, the government resorted to more drastic measures and in January 1999 banned the widespread use of U.S. dollars for all domestic commercial transactions, a position it later adjusted. The government has been unable to provide foreign exchange for economic transactions, while it has resorted to printing money to finance its expenditure. Growth was negative in 2000 because of the difficulty of meeting the conditions of international donors, continued low prices of key exports, and post-coup instability.


Conditions improved in late 2002 with the withdrawal of a large portion of the invading foreign troops. A number of IMF and World Bank missions have met with the government to help it develop a coherent economic plan, and President Kabila has begun implementing reforms.


Fish are the single most important source of animal protein in the DRC. Total production of marine, river, and lake fisheries in 2003 was estimated at 222,965 tons, all but 5,000 tons from inland waters. PEMARZA, a state agency, carries on marine fishing.


Forests cover 60 percent of the total land area. There are vast timber resources, and commercial development of the country’s 61 million hectares (150 million acres) of exploitable wooded area is only beginning. The Mayumbe area of Lower Zaire was once the major center of timber exploitation, but forests in this area were nearly depleted. The more extensive forest regions of the central cuvette and of the Ubangi River valley have increasingly been tapped. Roundwood removals were estimated at 72,170,000 cu m in 2003, about 95 percent for fuel. Some 14 species are presently being harvested. Exports of forest products in 2003 totalled $25.7 million. Foreign capital is necessary in order for forestry to expand, and the government recognizes that changes in tax structure and export procedures will be needed to facilitate economic growth.

See also


External links



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