|Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo|
Provinces de la République démocratique du Congo (French)
|Also known as:|
Mikoa ya Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo (Swahili)Bitúká bya Kongó-Kinsásá (Lingala)
|Location||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Number||26 provinces (1 is a city-province)|
|Populations||1,138,000 (Bas-Uele) – 11,575,000 (Kinshasa)|
|Areas||9,481 km2 (3,661 sq mi) (Kasaï-Oriental) – 199,567 km2 (77,053 sq mi) (Tshopo)|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
the Democratic Republic of the Congo
|United Nations Mission|
|Democratic Republic of the Congoportal|
There are currently twenty-five provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.The capital, Kinshasa city, is administratively equivalent to a province.
km2 (sq mi)
|Population*||Previous province||Time zone||Map|
|2||Kongo Central||Matadi||53,929 (20,822)||5,575,000||Bas-Congo||UTC+1|
|12||South Kivu||Bukavu||65,070 (25,120)||5,772,000||South Kivu||UTC+2|
|13||North Kivu||Goma||59,483 (22,967)||6,655,000||North Kivu||UTC+2|
* Population estimates are based on the number of registered voters in 2005, assuming that they represent 33% of the total population in each province.
When Belgium annexed the Belgian Congo as a colony in November 1908, it was initially organised into 22 districts. Ten western districts were administered directly by the main colonial government, while the eastern part of the colony was administered under two vice-governments: eight northeastern districts formed Orientale Province, and four southeastern districts formed Katanga. In 1919, the colony was organised into four provinces:
In 1932, the colony was reorganised into six provinces. Initially they were named after their capital cities, but in 1947 regional names were adopted.
The Belgian Congo became an independent country in 1960, named Republic of the Congo. By 1963, the country was organised into 21 provinces (informally called provincettes) plus the capital city of Léopoldville, similar to the original 22 districts under colonial rule. In 1966, the 21 provincettes were grouped into eight provinces, and the capital city was renamed Kinshasa.
In 1971, the country was renamed Zaire, and three provinces were also renamed. In 1975, the capital city of Kinshasa obtained the status of a province. In 1988, the province of Kivu was split into three. In 1997, the country was renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the three provinces that had been renamed in 1971 either retook their previous name or took another.
Article 2 of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, adopted in 2006, specifies a territorial organisation into 26 provinces,again resembling the previous provincettes and original colonial districts. The reorganisation was scheduled to take effect within three years of the new constitution's promulgation, however progress was slow. In October 2007 the Minister for Decentralisation, Denis Kalume Numbi, presented a bill for decentralisation in the National Assembly. The subsequent debate turned up a variety of issues that first had to be addressed with changes to related laws. In an October 2010 conclave of the ruling AMP coalition, it was proposed to revise Article 226, which calls for the creation of 26 provinces out of the current 11, in order to allow more time for the transition. On 9 January 2015 the National Assembly passed a law on the new administrative divisions of the country, according to which new provinces should be installed in period of 12 months.
|Belgian Congo||First Republic||Second Republic (Zaire)||Third Republic|
|22 districts||4 provinces||6 provinces||6 provinces||21 provinces + capital||8 provinces + capital||8 regions + capital||11 regions||11 provinces||26 provinces|
|Lac Léopold II||Équateur||Mai-Ndombe||Mai-Ndombe|
Politics of the Democratic Republic of Congo take place in a framework of a republic in transition from a civil war to a semi-presidential republic.
Katanga was one of the four large provinces created in the Belgian Congo in 1914. It was one of the eleven provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 1966 and 2015, when it was split into the Tanganyika, Haut-Lomami, Lualaba and Haut-Katanga provinces. Between 1971 and 1997, its official name was Shaba Province.
Kongo Central, formerly Bas-Congo is one of the 26 provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its capital is Matadi.
Équateur was a province in the northwest of the Belgian Congo and the successor Republic of the Congo, now known as Democratic Republic of the Congo. It had its origins in the Équateur District of the Congo Free State, the private property of King Leopold II of Belgium. It was upgraded to the status of a province in 1917. Between 1933 and 1947 it was named Coquilhatville. In 1962 it was divided into three smaller provinces, but there were recombined in 1966. Équateur was one of the eleven provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo until 2015, when it was split into the new, smaller Équateur province, as well as the Tshuapa, Mongala, Nord-Ubangi and Sud-Ubangi provinces.
Orientale Province is one of the former provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its predecessors the Congo Free State and the Belgian Congo. It went through a series of boundary changes between 1898 and 2015, when it was divided into smaller units.
Lubumbashi is the second-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 2.5 million in 2020.
Ituri is one of the 21 new provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo created in the 2015 repartitioning. Ituri, Bas-Uele, Haut-Uele, and Tshopo provinces are the result of the dismemberment of the former Orientale province. Ituri was formed from the Ituri district whose town of Bunia was elevated to capital city of the new province.
Équateur is one of the 21 new provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo created in the 2015 repartitioning. Équateur, Mongala, Nord-Ubangi, Sud-Ubangi, and Tshuapa provinces are the result of the dismemberment of the former Équateur province. The new province was formed from the Équateur district and the independently administered city of Mbandaka which retained its status as a provincial capital.
Tanganyika is one of the 21 new provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo created in the 2015 repartitioning. Tanganyika, Haut-Katanga, Haut-Lomami and Lualaba provinces are the result of the dismemberment of the former Katanga province. Tanganyika was formed from the Tanganyika district whose town of Kalemie was elevated to capital city of the new province.
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 provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo were divided into 26 districts. Those in turn were divided into territories or communes.
Lualaba District was a district of the pre-2015 Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The district dates back to the days of the Congo Free State and the Belgian Congo. The original Lualaba District was merged into Katanga in 1910, but in 1933 a new Lualaba District was formed within Katanga. After various significant boundary changes, in 2015 the district became the western part of the present Lualaba Province.
Kasai District was a district of the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, named after the Kasai River. It was formed around 1885 and went through several large changes in extent in the years that followed. The 1933 version of the district roughly corresponded to the former Kasai-Occidental province and the present Kasaï and Kasaï-Central provinces.
Haut-Lomami District was a district of the pre-2015 Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The district dates back to the days of the Belgian Congo. At its greatest extent it roughly corresponded to the northern part of the current Lualaba Province and to the present Haut-Lomami Province.
Bas-Uele District was a district of the Belgian Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was formed from part of Uele District in 1912. Later it was merged back into Uele District, then split out again. There were various boundary changes. It roughly corresponded in area to the present Bas-Uélé province.
The Districts of the Belgian Congo were the primary administrative divisions when Belgium annexed the Congo Free State in 1908, each administered by a district commissioner. In 1914 they were distributed among four large provinces, with some boundary changes. In 1933 the provinces were restructured into six, again with boundary changes. The number of districts fluctuated between 12 and 26 through splits and consolidations, first rising, then falling, then rising again.
Stanleyville District was a district of the Belgian Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo. It went through various changes in extent. Between 1933 and 1963 it had roughly the same extent as the current Tshopo province.
Haut-Luapula District was a district of the Belgian Congo from 1912 to 1933, when it was dissolved. It roughly corresponded to the southern part of the present Haut-Katanga Province.
Tanganika District was a district of the pre-2015 Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The district dates back to the days of the Belgian Congo. At its greatest extent it roughly corresponded to the present Tanganyika Province, with a small portion in the southwest now in Haut-Lomami Province.
Luapula-Moero District was a district of the pre-2015 Katanga Province in the Belgian Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo. It roughly corresponded in area to the present Haut-Katanga Province.