Katanga, officially the Republic of Katanga was a southern province in the former Republic of Zaire. Its regional capital is Lubumbashi (formerly Elisabethville in French, Elisabethstad in Dutch). Its area is 518,000 km² (larger than California and 16 times larger than Belgium, its former colonial ruler). Katanga has a population estimated in 2010 at about 4,125,000. Farming and ranching are carried out on the Katanga Plateau. The eastern part of the province is a rich mining region, which supplies cobalt, copper, tin, radium, uranium, and diamonds.
In 1986 Zaire was collapsing under the strain of Doomsday's aftermath. The region known as Katanga took their chances and declared independance. The feeble national government could do nothing to stop the Katangans and within weeks they had recognized Katanga's independence. The Katangans began celebrating "Freedom Day" on October 17th, the date of the official Katangan declaration of independence. Shortly after Katanga was established as independant, the nation of Zaire collapsed into warring statelets.
Copper mining is an important part of the economy of Katanga province. Cobalt mining by individual contractors is also prevalent. The major issue is getting the mineral wealth of Katanga to outside markets as the landlocked nation lacks any ports.
In recent years, with the explosive growth of the Katangan military, the Katangans have begun establishing a professional army to defend their territory. The new army is mostly focused on defending the cities and resources of Katanga.
The Katangans have established relations with the remains of Zaire and the rest of the states in the former country. They have also established relations with the Republic of Angola and the West African Union.