The area that is today the territory of Zaire was part of the Kingdom of Congo. The capital of the ancient Kingdom of Congo stood in the area now Mbanza Congo, the province headquarters. Nzinga Mbemba, King of Congo on the arrival of the Portuguese explorers created bonds of cordiality and trade relations with the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão who landed in the region in 1483.
In 1500, the King converted to Christianity and was baptized Afonso the First. The relations of trade between the Bakongo and the Portuguese were based mainly on the slave trade. The Bakongo or the Kongo people captured and sold slaves to the Portuguese, who used to send to Brazil, to Europe, and to the island of São Tomé.
However, later, in 1526 Afonso the First complained that the "excessive appetite" for slaves by the Portuguese was to weaken his Kingdom, and wrote a letter of complaint about the fact. The bleeding of the Kingdom, however, continued until the 18th Century.
In Soyo are installed the major oil companies that directly or indirectly support the majority of the population.
The province has an extension of 40,130 square kilometres.
Distance in relation to other cities
It is divided into 6 municipalities, they are:
|M'banza Congo||M'banza Congo (Headquarters) |
|Cuimba||Cuimba (Headquarters) |
Serra da Canda
|Noqui||Noqui (Headquarters) |
Mpala (Lué Lulendo)
|Soyo||Soyo (Headquarters) |
Pedra de Feitiço
|Nzeto||Nzeto (Headquarters) |
|Tomboco||Tomboco (Headquarters) |
It has a humid tropical climate with an annual average temperature of 26° c. The rainy season runs from November to May and the dry season from June to October.
The province has a population of around 60,000 inhabitants. The population is predominantly of bakongo origin.
Zaire has in subsoil the following natural resources: oil, phosphate, copper, bitumen, mica, lead, and magnetite.