, officially the Republic of Zaire
(French: République du Zaïre
), is a country located in Central Africa. It is, by area, the largest country in Africa, and the 7th-largest in the world. With a population of over 105 million, Zaire is the most populous officially Francophone country, the most populous country in Africa, and the 8th most populous country in the world.
The country is a dominant-party authoritarian dictatorship, run by Mobutu Sese Seko and his ruling Popular Movement of the Revolution party. Zaire was established following Mobutu's seizure of power in a military coup in 1965, following five years of political upheaval following independence known as the Congo Crisis. Mobutu's government received considerable support from the United States, due to its anti-communist stance during the Cold War, and was one of the founders of the Entebbe Pact. Although the country was created with a strongly centralist constitution, and foreign assets were nationalized, the country went through massive modernization and industrialization streak during the 70s and 80s due to massive Western investment in the Zairean economy and the opening of Uganda’s natural resources to foreign export. A massive process of military expansion and professionalization followed the modernization process, and the country became one of the strongest countries in Africa, both militarily and economically. Mobutu pursued the creation of a more centralized and Africanized national identity, a process named Authenticité
, which resulted in the renaming of the nation and several cities, along with mandated Africanization of names and several other policies.
The Entebbe Pact was allied with NATO during the third world war, and Zaire annexed the entirety of Congo-Brazzaville and large swaths of Zambia, including most of the Copperbelt, as a result for their contribution to the war effort. Between world war three to the great southern war, Zaire went through massive infrastructure investment and further integration with the Entebbe Pact nations, which resulted in Zaire giving independence to Hutuland and Tutsiland, both in the territory of former Burundi. Zaire took part in the African scene of the great southern war to a mixed success as the nation gained control over the Cabinda enclave and roughly one-fifth of Gabon's territory but lost the northern bank of the Zambezi river. Mobutu ruled the country with an iron fist until his death in 2005 and was succeeded by [REDACTED]
The Republic of Zaire is extremely rich in natural resources, and is considered to be one of the most developed nations in Africa in terms of infrastructure, but has ongoing problems of high corruption levels and ethnic tensions. The country's economy is heavily reliant on mining and large-scale industry, with massive cities such as Lubumbashi, Mbuji-Mayi, and Kisangani serving as the economic hubs of the country. The capital, Kinshasa, went through a massive renovation and expansion during the late 90s and early 00s in order to erase the differences between Kinshasa proper, former Brazzaville and the recent developments adjacent to the city, and today the city's economy is comprised of advanced industries and retail. The state is a member of the United Nations and one of the leading members of the Entebbe Pact, along with Uganda, Kenia, and Angola.