We have operated in DRC as Vodacom DRC for more than 20 years, today serving more than 15 million mobile customers. We also provide digital financial services in the country to over 3.4 million people through M-PESA.
With a surface area of more than 2.34 million square kilometres – around the same as Western Europe – DRC is the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of DRC is composed of the central Congo basin, which the WWF regards one of the most important wilderness areas left on earth, spanning 500 million acres and standing as the world’s second largest tropical rainforest. The basin is bordered by mountain ranges, volcanoes, and high plateaus.
It is one of the UN’s least developed countries. According to the World Bank, it was estimated in 2018 that 73% of the population – around 60 million people – lived on less than $1.90 a day, which is the international poverty rate. That means that almost 14% - or one in six people living in extreme poverty in the region – live in DRC.
Internet penetration in DRC is very low, estimated to be around 14%. The country’s topography makes it challenging to establish mobile infrastructure and provide connectivity to widespread communities, while smartphones remain unaffordable for many.
The official language of DRC is French, although there are four national languages – Kituba (Kikongo), Lingala, Swahili, and Tshibula – and over 200 languages spoken throughout, making DRC of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world, according to Translators without Borders.
On the map: DRC’s national animal is the okapi – the only place in the world you will find a wild one is in the country’s dense tropical forests. You can find the everlasting flower (helichrysum stuhlmannii) in the Virunga National Park.
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