KINSHASA, Congo — Economists from around the globe are gathering in Congo for a forum on boosting economic growth in the African country as large as Western Europe.

Congo has some of the largest mineral deposits in the world yet, according to the United Nations, at least 63 percent of its citizens live in poverty.

More than 300 participants are coming together for the conference organized in partnership with Harvard University.

Congolese Prime Minister Matata Ponyo Mapon says participants are also discussing ways to reduce unemployment, particularly among young Congolese.

Congo's mineral riches sparked a colonial power grab, decades of dictatorship and back-to-back civil wars that drew in a number of neighboring countries. Rebel groups and other militias still vie for control of mines in the country's embattled east.