Districts of the Belgian Congo
   HOME

TheInfoList




The Districts of the Belgian Congo were the primary administrative divisions when Belgium annexed the
Congo Free State ''(Work and Progress) , national_anthem = Vers l'avenir ''Vers l'avenir'' (, "Towards the future"), less commonly known by its Dutch language, Dutch title ''Naar wijd en zijd'', is a Belgium, Belgian nationalist song which was also the ...
in 1908, each administered by a district commissioner. In 1914 they were distributed among four large provinces, with some boundary changes. In 1933 the provinces were restructured into six, again with boundary changes. The number of districts fluctuated between 12 and 26 through splits and consolidations, first rising, then falling, then rising again.


History

The Congo Free State was annexed by Belgium in 1908 to become the
Belgian Congo The Belgian Congo (french: link=no, Congo belge, ; nl, Belgisch-Congo) was a Belgian colony in Central Africa Central Africa is a subregion of the Africa, African continent comprising various countries according to different definitions ...

Belgian Congo
. At first the structure of districts was retained. In 1910 the western districts of
Banana A banana is an elongated, edible fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specia ...
,
Boma Boma or BOMA may refer to: People * Boma Iyaye (born 1969), Nigerian accountant and politician Places * Boma, Democratic Republic of the Congo Boma is a port town on the Congo River The Congo River ( kg, Nzâdi Kôngo, french: Fleuv ...
,
Matadi Matadi is the chief sea port of the Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and form ...
and Cataractes were consolidated into one administrative unit, Bas-Congo District, Bas-Congo, reducing the number to twelve. Parts of the Stanley Falls and Lualaba districts were combined to form Katanga Province, Katanga in 1910, which was called a vice-government general. Otherwise, the Free State districts were maintained until 28 March 1912. An ''arrêté royal'' of 28 March 1912 divided the Congo into 22 districts. An ''arrêté royal'' of 28 July 1914 grouped the districts into the provinces of Congo-Kasaï, Équateur (former province), Équateur, Orientale Province and Katanga Province, Katanga, with the objective of improving responsiveness through decentralization. The consolidation had in fact started in Katanga in 1912 and Orientale in 1913, but Congo-Kasai did not formally become a vice-government until 1919. Each of the new provinces was made up of several of the existing districts. The colonial administrators felt the need to assign the many diverse ethnic groups to defined territories, where before they had often been mobile. The districts were divided into territories, which in turn were divided into sectors, and many chiefdoms were recognized. Several of the smallest might be combined into one sector, while the largest chiefdoms were split across sectors. The original four provinces had considerable autonomy, but in 1933 they were reorganized into six provinces, named after their capitals, and the central government assumed more control. The Congo-Kasaï and Orientale provinces were both split, and some other adjustments were made to form six provinces named after their capitals; Léopoldville Province, Léopoldville, Lusambo Province, Lusambo (Kasai), Costermansville Province, Costermansville (Kivu), Elisabethville Province, Elisabethville (Katanga), Stanleyville Province, Stanleyville (Orientale) and Coquilhatville Province, Coquilhatville (Équateur). The number of districts was reduced to 15, with 102 territories. Provincial boundaries remained fairly stable until after independence in 1960. There continued to be frequent adjustments to district and territory boundaries, mostly to recognise sectional and tribal divisions. By 1956 there were 26 districts and 135 territories.


1910 districts

In 1910 there were 12 districts. Clockwise, starting from the mouth of the Congo River, they were: *Bas-Congo District, Bas-Congo *Moyen-Congo District, Moyen-Congo *Lac Léopold II District, Lac Léopold II *Équateur District, Équateur *Bangala District, Bangala *Ubangi District, Ubangi *Uele District, Uele *Aruwimi District, Aruwimi *Stanleyville District, Stanleyville *Katanga Province, Katanga *Kasai District, Kasai *Kwango District, Kwango


1912 districts

In 1912 there were 22 districts. Changes were: *Équateur had been divided into a smaller Équateur to the south, and Lulonga to the north. *Uele District, Uele had been divided into Bas-Uele and Haut-Uele *Stanleyville had been divided into a smaller Stanleyville, and Lowa, Ituri, Maniema and Kivu *Kasai had been divided into Sankuru to the north and a smaller Kasai to the south. Part of the district had been reassigned to Katanga *Katanga had been made into a vice governorship general, and divided into Lomami (including part of the old Kasai), Tanganika-Moero, Haut-Luapula and Lulua (including part of the old Kasai) The districts in 1912 were: *Bas-Congo District, Bas-Congo *Moyen-Congo District, Moyen-Congo *Lac Léopold II District, Lac Léopold II *Équateur District, Équateur *Lulonga District, Lulonga *Bangala District, Bangala *Ubangi District, Ubangi *Bas-Uele District, Bas-Uele *Haut-Uele District, Haut-Uele *Aruwimi District, Aruwimi *Stanleyville District, Stanleyville *Lowa District, Lowa *Ituri District, Ituri *Maniema District, Maniema *Kivu District, Kivu *Sankuru District, Sankuru *Kasai District, Kasai *Kwango District, Kwango *Lomami District, Lomami *Tanganika-Moero District, Tanganika-Moero *Haut-Luapula District, Haut-Luapula *Lulua District, Lulua


Districts in 1926

By 1926 the districts had been organized into four large provinces, with some boundary changes. Apart from boundary adjustments, the district-level changes were: *A new urban district of Léopoldville had been created around the capital city *Moyen-Congo had been merged into Bas-Congo (south) and Lac Léopold II (north) *Lowa and Maniema had been combined into a new Maniema, losing part of their territory to Kivu to the east. The new organization was¨: *Congo-Kasaï **Léopoldville **Bas-Congo District, Bas-Congo **Kwango District, Kwango **Kasai District, Kasai **Sankuru District, Sankuru *Équateur (former province), Équateur **Ubangi District, Ubangi **Bangala District, Bangala **Lulonga District, Lulonga **Équateur District, Équateur **Lac Léopold II District, Lac Léopold II *Orientale Province, Orientale **Bas-Uele District, Bas-Uele **Haut-Uele District, Haut-Uele **Aruwimi District, Aruwimi **Stanleyville District, Stanleyville **Maniema District, Maniema **Ituri District, Ituri **Kivu District, Kivu *Katanga Province, Katanga **Lomami District, Lomami **Tanganika-Moero District, Tanganika-Moero **Haut-Luapula District, Haut-Luapula **Lulua District, Lulua


Districts in 1933

In 1933 the number of provinces was increased to six, while the number of districts was reduced to 16. This provincial breakdown would last until after the Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville) became independent in 1960. The new organization was: *Léopoldville Province, Léopoldville **Léopoldville **Bas-Congo District, Bas-Congo **Kwango District, Kwango **Lac Léopold II District, Lac Léopold II *Lusambo Province, Lusambo (Kasai) **Sankuru District, Sankuru **Kasai District, Kasai *Coquilhatville Province, Coquilhatville (Équateur) **Congo-Ubangi District, Congo-Ubangi **Tshuapa District, Tshuapa *Stanleyville Province, Stanleyville (Orientale) **Stanleyville District, Stanleyville **Uele District, Uele **Kibali-Ituri District, Kibali-Ituri *Costermansville Province, Costermansville (Kivu) **Kivu District, Kivu **Maniema District, Maniema *Elisabethville Province, Elisabethville (Katanga) **Tanganika District, Tanganika **Lualaba District, Lualaba **Haut-Katanga District, Haut-Katanga


Districts in 1954

The districts in 1954 were: *Léopoldville ** Léopoldville ** Lac Leopold II District, Lac Leopold II ** Kwilu District, Kwilu ** Kwango District, Kwango ** Bas-Congo District, Bas-Congo ** Cataractes *Kasai ** Lulua District, Lulua ** Sankuru District, Sankuru ** Kabinda District, Kabinda ** Kasai District, Kasai *Equateur ** Équateur District, Equateur ** Mongala District, Mongala ** Ubangi District, Ubangi ** Tshuapa District, Tshuapa *Orientale ** Stanleyville District, Stanleyville ** Ituri District, Ituri ** Bas-Uele District, Bas-Uele ** Haut-Uele District, Haut-Uele *Kivu ** Sud-Kivu District, Sud-Kivu ** Nord-Kivu District, Nord-Kivu ** Maniema District, Maniema *Katanga ** Elisabethville District, Elisabethville ** Tanganyika District, Tanganyika ** Lualaba District, Lualaba ** Haut-Lomami District, Haut-Lomami ** Luapula-Moero District, Luapula-Moero


Post-independence

Further changes were made after the Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville) became independent. As of 2008 the provinces and districts were: *Bandundu Province, Bandundu **Kwango District, Kwango **Kwilu District, Kwilu **Mai-Ndombe District, Mai-Ndombe **Plateaux District, Plateaux *Bas-Congo Province, Bas-Congo **Bas-Fleuve District, Bas-Fleuve ** Cataractes **Lukaya District, Lukaya *Kasai-Occidental **Kasaï District, Kasaï **Lulua District, Lulua *Kasai-Oriental **Kabinda District, Kabinda **Sankuru District, Sankuru **Tshilenge District, Tshilenge *Équateur (former province), Équateur **Équateur District, Équateur **Mongala District, Mongala **Nord-Ubangi District, Nord-Ubangi **Sud-Ubangi District, Sud-Ubangi **Tshuapa District, Tshuapa *Orientale Province, Orientale **Bas-Uele District, Bas-Uele **Haut-Uele District, Haut-Uele **Ituri District, Ituri **Tshopo District, Tshopo *Nord-Kivu *Sud-Kivu *Maniema *Katanga Province, Katanga **Haut-Katanga District, Haut-Katanga **Haut-Lomami District, Haut-Lomami **Kolwezi District, Kolwezi **Lualaba District, Lualaba **Tanganyika District, Tanganyika


See also

*Districts of the Congo Free State *Districts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo *Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo


References


Sources

* * * * * * {{refend Districts of the Belgian Congo,