Sunday, December 4, 2011

Congo river, Republic of the Congo, Dem. Rep. of the Congo

The Congo river ( Also known as Zaire
is the second largest river in Africa (after Nile) and
7th. largest river in the world. The Congo gets
its name from the ancient kingdom of the Bantu

The Congo river at Matadi
Kings . The name of the two countries were
borrowed from the name of this river.
European exploration :
The mouth of the Congo riverwas visited (1482)
by Diogo Cao, the Portuguese navigator, it became
known as the Zaire River ( a cooruption of the
local name Mzadi meaning "great water") and
was referred to as the Congo River ( for the

The Congo River near Maluku
Kongo Kingdom located near its mouth); it
was called Zaire River by the Govt. of Zai
now Congo (Kinshasa) from 1971 to 1997.
Economic Importance :

The Congo river basin encompasses the world's
second largest contiguous rain forest, surpassed
only by that of the Amazon. The region is
biologically diverse and a huge watershed .
The forest is threatened by illegal logging and
the poaching of large mammals (specially the
bushmeat trade) , but two summits (1999, 2005)
that brought togethherthe nations of the basin
have committed its participants to forest conservation
and have led to the establishment of wildlife preserves.

Rep. of the Congo or Congo Brazzaville or the Congo
is located in the central- western part of the Sub -
Saharan Africa , transacted by the Equator. To the
south and eastof it is the Democratic Republic of
the Congo.
The earliest inhabitants of the region were Pigmy people
who later were largely isplaced and absorbed as sl
by Bantu Tribes uring Bantu expansions. The Bakongo
are a Bantu ethnicity that also occupied parts
of present - day Angola, Gabon, and Dem.rep. of
the Congo.Several Bantu Kingdoms - notably those

of the Kongo , The Loango, and the Teke - built trade
links leading into the Congo River basin.
The inhabitants of the Comgo River delta first came into contact with the Europeans in the 15 th. century with portuguese expeditions charting the African coast line. Commercial relationships were quickly established between the inland Bantu kingdoms and European merchants who traded various commoditiea , manufactured goos and slaves captured from the hinterlands. For centuries Congo River elta was a major commercial hub for trnsatlantic trade. However, when direct European colonisation of the African continent began in the late 19th. century when the power of the Bantu families eroded.
The history of the Congo is divided in four parts :
1. Early history of the Congo (Upto 1484) ,
2. Contact with Europe (upto 1883),
3. French Colony (upto 1960),
4. Independent period (from 15th. Aug. 1960 on wards).
The mouth of the Congo River was the base for the Kongo Kingdom, which encountered the Portuguese in 1484. Trading contracts gave the CongoleseTextiles, jewelry, and manufactured goods in return for ivory , copper and slaves .
The portugese didnot venture into interior but bought goods and slaves captured in the interior through African brokers on the coast.The coastal area was a major source for the transatlantic slave trade. Western education and Christianity were introduced into the region at that time. When the slave trade diminished Portugese bought slaves from other tribes resulting in the fight between different tribes weakennin

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