This is a list of place names of towns and cities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which were subsequently changed after the end of Belgian colonial rule. Place names of the colonial era tended to have two versions, one in French and one in Dutch, reflecting the two main languages of Belgium. Many of these place names were chosen after local geography or eponymous colonial figures.
Many of the place name changes occurred under the authenticité programme in the 1960s and 1970s during the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko. In some cases, the names had genuine pre-colonial usage or had already been used unofficially during the colonial period. Mobutu also changed the country's name from Congo to Zaire. Today, European speakers of both French and Dutch use the modern Congolese place names.
Discovered in the 1990’s, human remains in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been dated to approximately 90,000 years ago. The first real states, such as the Kongo, the Lunda, the Luba and Kuba, appeared southern Equatorial coastal forests|equatorial forest]] on the savannah from the 14th century onwards.
Zaire, officially the Republic of Zaire, was the name of a sovereign state between 1971 and 1997 in Central Africa that is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was, by area, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the third-largest in all of Africa, and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 23 million inhabitants, Zaire was the most-populous officially Francophone country in Africa, as well as one of the most populous in Africa.
The Belgian Congo was a Belgian colony in Central Africa from 1908 until independence in 1960. The former colony adopted its present name, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in 1964.
Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga was a Congolese politician and military officer who was the President of Zaire from 1965 to 1997. He also served as Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity from 1967 to 1968. During the Congo Crisis, Mobutu, serving as Chief of Staff of the Army and supported by Belgium and the United States, deposed the democratically elected government of Nationalist Patrice Lumumba in 1960. Mobutu installed a government that arranged for Lumumba's execution in 1961, and continued to lead the country's armed forces until he took power directly in a second coup in 1965.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DROC, the DRC, or simply either Congo or the Congo, and historically Zaire, is a country in Central Africa. It is, by area, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa, and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of around 105 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous officially Francophone country in the world, as well as the 4th-most populous country in Africa and the 15th-most populous country in the world. It is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, African Union, and COMESA. Since 2015, the Eastern DR Congo has been the site of an ongoing military conflict in Kivu.
Léon Kengo wa Dondo is a Congolese politician who served as the "first state commissioner" several times under Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaïre. He was one of the most powerful figures in the regime and was a strong advocate of economic globalization and free-market economics. He served as President of the Senate of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2007 to 2019.
The national flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in IPA: or in French is a sky blue flag, adorned with a yellow star in the upper left canton and cut diagonally by a red stripe with a yellow fimbriation. It was adopted on 20 February 2006. A new constitution, ratified in December 2005 and which came into effect in February 2006, promoted a return to a flag similar to that flown between 1963 and 1971, with a change from a royal blue to sky blue background. Blue represents peace. Red stands for "the blood of the country's martyrs", yellow the country's wealth; and the star a radiant future for the country.
Lubumbashi is the third-largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, located in the country's southeasternmost part, along the border with Zambia. The capital and principal city of the Haut-Katanga Province, Lubumbashi is the center of mining in the region, acting as a hub for many of the country's largest mining companies. No definite population figures are available, but the population of the city's urban area is estimated to be around 2,584,000 in 2021.
Évolué is a French label used during the colonial era to refer to a native African or Asian who had "evolved" by becoming Europeanised through education or assimilation and had accepted European values and patterns of behavior. It is most commonly used to refer to individuals within the Belgian and French colonial empires. Évolués spoke French, followed European laws, usually held white-collar jobs, and lived primarily in urban areas of the colony.
The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a multilingual country where an estimated total of 242 languages are spoken. Ethnologue lists 215 living languages. The official language, inherited from the colonial period, is French. Four indigenous languages have the status of national language: Kituba, Lingala, Swahili and Tshiluba.
The abacost, a blending of the French "à bas le costume", was the distinctive clothing for men that was promoted by Mobutu Sese Seko as part of his authenticité programme in Zaire, between 1972 and 1990. Zairians were banned from wearing Western-style suits with shirt and tie to symbolise the break with their colonial past. The abacost was a lightweight suit, worn without a tie, though sometimes with a cravat. It closely resembled a Mao suit. It was seen in long-sleeved and short-sleeved versions.
Authenticité, sometimes Zairianisation in English, was an official state ideology of the Mobutu regime that originated in the late 1960s and early 1970s in what was first the Democratic Republic of Congo, later renamed Zaire. The authenticity campaign was an effort to rid the country of the lingering vestiges of colonialism and the continuing influence of Western culture and to create a more centralized and singular national identity. The policy, as implemented, included numerous changes to the state and to private life, including the renaming of the Congo and its cities, as well as an eventual mandate that Zairians were to abandon their Christian names for more "authentic" ones. In addition, Western style attire was banned and replaced with the Mao-style tunic labeled the "abacost" and its female equivalent. The policy began to wane in the late 1970s and had mostly been abandoned by 1990.
The Congolese National Liberation Front is a political party. Funded by rebels of Katangese origin, and composing of ex-members of the Katangese Gendarmerie, it was mainly active in Angola and Zaire during the 1970s.
The Republic of the Congo was a sovereign state in Central Africa, created with the independence of the Belgian Congo in 1960. From 1960 to 1966, the country was also known as Congo-Léopoldville to distinguish it from its northwestern neighbor, which is also called the Republic of the Congo, alternatively known as "Congo-Brazzaville". In 1964, the state's official name was changed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but the two countries continued to be distinguished by their capitals; with the renaming of Léopoldville as Kinshasa in 1966, it became also known as Congo-Kinshasa. After Joseph Désiré Mobutu, commander-in-chief of the national army, seized control of the country, it became the Republic of Zaire in 1971. It would again become the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997. The period between 1960 and 1965 is referred to as the First Congolese Republic.
Kinshasa is the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is situated on the Congo river near Pool Malebo and forms a single urban area with Brazzaville which is the capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo. Considered a megacity, it is among the largest urban communities in Africa.
The National University of Zaire was a federated university in Zaire. It was formed in August 1971 when the country's three existing universities and 17 technical colleges were merged into a single administrative structure. It was briefly known as the National University of the Congo until the Democratic Republic of the Congo became Zaire in October 1971.
Congolese nationalism in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was also for a time known as Zairian nationalism during the rule of Mobutu Sese Seko. Congolese nationalism persists among the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in spite of civil war and the lack of a clear definition of what it means to be Congolese.
Tshibumba Kanda-Matulu, commonly abbreviated to TKM, was a noted artist and painter from Zaire. TKM worked within the style termed "African popular art" or "genre painting" and is known for his prolific paintings depicting key moments of Congolese history as they appeared in folk memory. TKM disappeared in 1981 and is believed to have been killed in rioting.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is common for individuals to possess three separate names: a first name (prénom) and surname (nom) as well as a post-surname (postnom). Each form may comprise one or more elements. For example: