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banner image: DR Congo: Key Facts

DR Congo's economy has been stifled by years of conflict and corruption. But mineral reserves mean it has potential to be a wealthy country.

The $870m diamond industry provides work for around one million people, but many diggers earn less than $1 a day in dangerous conditions.

Between 1999 and 2001, DR Congo enjoyed a brief coltan boom, becoming the second largest producer of tantalum - used in mobile phones.

War has disrupted farming as well as trade and the country lacks infrastructure to provide adequate food, clean water, healthcare and education.

It is hoped the elections will create an environment for greater foreign investment and a more organised exploitation of resources.

Economy figures. Photo of DR Congo diamonds

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