Radio Congo Belge

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Radio Congo Belge (French, "Belgian Congo Radio") was a radio broadcaster in the Belgian Congo (the modern Democratic Republic of the Congo) which played an important role in the early development and popularisation of Congolese rumba music across Africa in the aftermath of World War II. The station, based in Léopoldville (modern Kinshasa), was founded during the war to broadcast news and propaganda to German-occupied Belgium from the Congo which was still controlled by the Belgian government in exile and the Allies. With the liberation of Belgium in 1944, however, Radio Congo Belge re-focused its programming on the Congo itself and played an important role in providing Congolese musicians with access to foreign musical influences. It was particularly influential in introducing Afro-Cuban music into the Congo through groups such as Septeto Habanero and Trio Matamoros.

According to historian Gary Stewart, Radio Congo Belge, together with Radio Brazzaville and Congolia, "contributed to the critical mix of music taking shape on the banks of the Congo River".[1] The station has also been described as an "important promotional outlet for local music" which allowed Congolese bands and recording studios to emerge.[2]

After the independence of Congo-Léopoldville in 1960, the station was renamed Radiodiffusion Congolaise ("Congolese Radio Broadcasting"). Other radio services of the period included OTC and Radio Léopoldville.


  1. ^ Stewart 2000, p. 19.
  2. ^ Impey 2008, p. 133.


  • Stewart, Gary (2000). Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the two Congos (Paperback ed.). New York: Verso. ISBN 978-1859843680.
  • Impey, Angela (2008). "Popular Music in Africa". In Stone, Ruth M. The Garland Handbook of African Music (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415961028.