Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
|Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Provinces de la République démocratique du Congo (French)
|Location||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Number||26 provinces (1 is a city-province)|
|Populations||1,093,845 (Bas-Uele) – 8,981,552 (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|
When Belgium annexed the Belgian Congo as a colony in 1908, it was initially organized 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 organized into four provinces:
- Congo-Kasaï (five southwestern districts),
- Équateur (five northwestern districts),
- Orientale and Katanga (previous vice-governments).
In 1932, the colony was reorganized 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 organized 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 organization into 26 provinces, again resembling the previous provincettes and original colonial districts. The reorganization was scheduled to take effect within three years of the new constitution's promulgation, however progress was slow. In October 2007 the Minister for Decentralization, Denis Kalume Numbi, presented a bill for decentralization 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||Republic of the Congo||Zaire||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|22 districts||4 provinces||6 provinces||6 provinces||21 provinces + capital||8 provinces + capital||8 provinces + capital||11 provinces||11 provinces||26 provinces|
|Lac Léopold II||Équateur||Mai-Ndombe||Mai-Ndombe|
- History of the administrative divisions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (French)
- List of provincial governors of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Districts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Territories of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- ISO 3166-2:CD
- "The World Factbook". www.cia.gov. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- Provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Statoids, accessed 1 May 2016.
- Nouvelles entités provinciales, Joseph M. Kyalangilwa, 22 January 2007.
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, article 2, Wikisource. (French)
- "Provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo Kinshasa)". Statoids. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
- "La décentralisation dans l'impasse". Le Potentiel. 23 October 2007. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- JASON STEARNS (October 12, 2010). "The AMP conclave: Another step towards 2011 elections". Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- The National Assembly adopts the laws regarding the limits of the provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 10 January 2015. (French)
- Election of governors: definite results expected on 18 April, Radio Okapi, 27 March 2016. (French)