Great Lakes, group of freshwater lakes lying along the Great Rift Valley, E Africa, including Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika, Nyasa, Turkana, Albert, Kivu, and Edward. Lakes Victoria, Albert, and Edward empty into the White Nile, Tanganyika and Kivu empty into the Congo River system, and Nyasa drain through the Shire River into the Zambezi. Lake Turkana has no outlet. The Great Lakes region is generally considered to include the nations of Burundi and Rwanda, NE Congo (Kinshasa), Uganda, and NW Kenya and Tanzania. The Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries, also known as the Economic Community for the Great Lakes Region, was established in 1976 by Burundi, Congo (Kinshasa), and Rwanda but collapsed in the 1990s amid civil war and international strife. The organization was revived in 2007 by its former members.
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