Lead: Zaire was carved from the heart of Africa and began its modern existence as a private reserve of a group of European investors led by King Leopold II of Belgium.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The modern state of Zaire roughly covers the region drained by the Congo River, one of the world’s longest, and after the Amazon, discharges the largest amount of fresh water into the ocean. Indigenous peoples are mostly Bantu speakers but there are still more than 200 languages and dialects spoken in Zaire. European settlement followed the famous journey of H.M. Stanley who crossed the region in search of the elusive missionary, David Livingstone. King Leopold II of Belgium formed an investor group with the intention of exploiting the riches of the area and hired Stanley to establish river outposts and negotiate trading agreements with local leaders in the basin.

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