|Former name (1972--97): Shaba a region of SE Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaïre): site of a secessionist movement during the 1960s and again in 1993; important for hydroelectric power and rich mineral resources (copper and tin ore). Pop: estimates vary between 4 000 000 (1998) and 8 000 000 (2006). Area: 496 964 sq km (191 878 sq miles)|
historical region in southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, bordering Lake Tanganyika to the east, Zambia to the south, and Angola to the west. The name Shaba, the region's name during the Zairean period, comes from the Swahili word for copper, and the region's mines yield most of Congo's copper, cobalt, uranium, zinc, cadmium, silver, germanium, coal, gold, iron, manganese, and tin. Local people used those minerals before the arrival of Europeans in the 19th century. Economic development since 1900 has brought about a complex of mining and industrial towns and transportation and communications networks, which make the region the most highly industrialized in Congo outside of Kinshasa, the national capital. Agriculture (cotton, tobacco, corn [maize], and vegetables), livestock herding, and poultry raising are also significant. The major towns of the region include Lubumbashi, Likasi, and Kolwezi. Upemba and Kundelungu national parks are in Katanga.
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