Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of the Congo are two different countries located in Central Africa.
In the late 15th Century the Congo River delta was a major commercial hub for trade. That is the period when the inhabitants of the Congo River delta first came into contact with Europeans. Leopold II of Belgium acquired rights to the Congo territory (Zaire region) at the Conference of Berlin in 1885 and made the land his private property and named it the Congo Free State. In 1908 the Belgian government took it over and then it was called Belgian Congo. On 30 June 1960 it got its independence under the name “Democratic Republic of the Congo".
In the 1880s the French made Middle Congo (modern Congo) its colony and named Brazzaville as its capital. On August 15, 1960 it got its independence and chose the name "Republic of Congo".
In order to avoid confusion the countries were commonly referred as Congo-Léopoldville and Congo-Brazzaville, with reference to their capital. Sometimes Congo-Léopoldville was referred as The Conga and Congo-Brazzaville as just Congo. On June 1, 1966, Mobutu renamed Léopoldville as Kinshasa. The country was then named Democratic Republic of The Congo – Kinshasa.
The two countries are neighbors, with the DRC being the larger of the two countries and Republic of Congo to its west. DRC shares borders with Angola, the South Atlantic Ocean, the Republic of Congo, theCentral African Republic, the Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania across Lake Tanganyika, and Zambia.
ROC has Democratic Republic of Congo in the southeast, Gabon in the west, Cameroon and the Central African Republic in the north. It has a short Atlantic coast.
Democratic Republic of the Congo is divided into 10 provinces and one city. The city is Kinshasa and the provinces are Bas-Congo, Équateur, Kasai-Occidental, Kasai-Oriental, Katanga, Maniema, Nord-Kivu, Orientale and Sud-Kivu.
The Republic of the Congo is divided into 12 departments. They are Bouenza, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lékoumou, Brazzaville, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pool, Sangha, Pointe Noire. Departments are further divided into communes and/or districts.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo was formerly known as (in chronological order) the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo-Léopoldville, Congo-Kinshasa, and Zaire (Zaïre in French). These former names are sometimes referred to, as unofficial names, with the exception of Mobutu's discredited Zaire, along with various abbreviations, such as, Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo and DRC.