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Introduction Congo, Republic of the
Upon independence in 1960, former French region of Middle Congo became Republic of Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism previously abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government installed in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President SASSOU-NGUESSO, but ushered in a period of ethnically based unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003. Republic of Congo is one of Africa's largest petroleum producers with significant potential for offshore development.
Geography Congo, Republic of the
Western Africa, bordering South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
Geographic coordinates:
1 00 S, 15 00 E
Map references:
total: 342,000 sq km
water: 500 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Montana
Land boundaries:
total: 5,504 km
border countries: Angola 201 km, Cameroon 523 km, Central African Republic 467 km, Democratic Republic of Congo 2,410 km, Gabon 1,903 km
169 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 NM
tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); constantly high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride Equator
coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, natural gas, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 0.5%
permanent crops: 0.13%
other: 99.37% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
10 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
seasonal flooding
Environment - current issues:
air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from dumping of raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of Sea
Geography - note:
about 70% of population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along railroad between them
People Congo, Republic of the
Total Population:
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 38.4% (male 570,491; female 563,079)
15-64 years: 58% (male 844,655; female 868,851)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 44,166; female 63,016) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 20.2 years
male: 19.8 years
female: 20.7 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
1.53% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
29.46 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
14.2 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
Population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 95.34 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 89.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 101.45 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 50.02 years
male: 49.04 years
female: 51.02 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
3.65 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
7.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
110,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
11,000 (2001 est.)
noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
Ethnic groups:
Kongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%
note: Europeans estimated at 8,500, mostly French, before 1997 civil war; may be half that in 1998, following widespread destruction of foreign businesses in 1997
Christian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2%
French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo has most users)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Population: 83.8%
male: 89.6%
female: 78.4% (2003 est.)
Government Congo, Republic of the
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Congo
conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)
local short form: none
former: Middle Congo, Congo/Brazzaville, Congo
local long form: Republique du Congo
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
9 regions (regions, singular - region) and 1 commune*; Bouenza, Brazzaville*, Cuvette, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pool, Sangha
15 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 15 August (1960)
constitution approved by referendum 20 January 2002
Legal system:
based on French civil law system and customary law
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO (since 25 October 1997, following civil war in which he toppled elected president Pascal LISSOUBA); note - president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO (since 25 October 1997, following civil war in which he toppled elected president Pascal LISSOUBA); note - president is both chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second seven-year term); election last held 10 March 2002 (next to be held NA 2009)
election results: Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO reelected president; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO 89.4%, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia MBOUNGOU 2.7%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of Senate (66 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and National Assembly (137 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 11 July 2002 (next to be held NA July 2007); National Assembly - last held 27 May and 26 June 2002 (next to be held by NA May 2007)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - FDP 56, other 10; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - FDP 83, UDR 6, UPADS 3, other 45
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme
Political parties and leaders:
most important of many parties are Democratic and Patriotic Forces or FDP (an alliance of Convention for Alternative Democracy, Congolese Labor Party or PCT, Liberal Republican Party, National Union for Democracy and Progress, Patriotic Union for National Reconstruction, and Union for National Renewal) [Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO, president]; Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Michel MAMPOUYA]; Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Martin MBERI]; Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Jean-Pierre Thystere TCHICAYA, president]; Rally for Democracy and Republic or RDR [Raymond Damasge NGOLLO]; Union for Democracy and Republic or UDR [leader NA]; Union of Democratic Forces or UFD [Sebastian EBAO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Congolese Trade Union Congress or CSC; General Union of Congolese Pupils and Students or UGEEC; Revolutionary Union of Congolese Women or URFC; Union of Congolese Socialist Youth or UJSC
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI
FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860
telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
chancery: 4891 Colorado Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20011
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Robin R. SANDERS
embassy: NA
mailing address: NA
telephone: [243] (88) 43608
note: embassy is temporarily collocated with US Embassy in Democratic Republic of Congo (US Embassy Kinshasa, 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa)
Flag description:
divided diagonally from lower hoist side by a yellow band; upper triangle (hoist side) is green and lower triangle is red; uses popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
Economy Congo, Republic of the
Economy - overview:
economy is a mixture of village agriculture and handicrafts, an industrial sector based largely on oil, support services, and a government characterized by budget problems and overstaffing. Oil has supplanted forestry as mainstay of economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. In early 1980s, rapidly rising oil revenues enabled government to finance large-scale development projects with GDP growth averaging 5% annually, one of highest rates in Africa. government has mortgaged a substantial portion of its oil earnings, contributing to a shortage of revenues. 12 January 1994 devaluation of Franc Zone currencies by 50% resulted in inflation of 61% in 1994, but inflation has subsided since. Economic reform efforts continued with support of international organizations, notably World Bank and IMF. reform program came to a halt in June 1997 when civil war erupted. Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO, who returned to power when war ended in October 1997, publicly expressed interest in moving forward on economic reforms and privatization and in renewing cooperation with international financial institutions. However, economic progress previously badly hurt by slumping oil prices and resumption of armed conflict in December 1998, which worsened republic's budget deficit. current administration presides over an uneasy internal peace and faces difficult economic problems of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty.
buying power parity - $2.5 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
0% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $900 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10%
industry: 48%
services: 42% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Unemployment rate:
revenues: $870 million
expenditures: $970 million, includes capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)
petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate:
0% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
358.1 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.3%
hydro: 99.7%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
633 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
300 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
275,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
5,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
93.5 million bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
495.5 million cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
$2.4 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
Exports - partners:
Taiwan 28.1%, South Korea 20.4%, China 9.3%, US 8.4%, Germany 6.6%, France 5.2% (2002)
$730 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
France 22.1%, Italy 8.5%, Belgium 6%, US 5.2%, India 4.1% (2002)
Debt - external:
$5 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$159.1 million (1995)
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is Bank of Central African States
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 697 (2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.7 (1999), 589.95 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Congo, Republic of the
Telephones - main lines in use:
22,000 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
3,300 (1998)
Telephone system:
general assessment: services barely adequate for government use; key exchanges are in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, and Loubomo; intercity lines frequently out of order
domestic: primary network consists of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 3 (2001)
341,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2002)
33,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
500 (2001)
Transportation Congo, Republic of the
total: 894 km
narrow gauge: 894 km 1.067-m gauge (2002)
total: 12,800 km
paved: 1,242 km
unpaved: 11,558 km (1999 est.)
1,120 km
note: Congo and Ubangi (Oubangui) rivers provide 1,120 km of commercially navigable water transport; other rivers are used for local traffic only
gas 53 km; oil 673 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Brazzaville, Impfondo, Ouesso, Oyo, Pointe-Noire
31 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 27
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 11 (2002)
Military Congo, Republic of the
Military branches:
Army, Air Force, Navy, Gendarmerie, National Police
Military manpower - military age:
20 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 754,814 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 381,556 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 31,644 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$84 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.8% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Congo, Republic of the
Disputes - international:
most of Congo River boundary with Democratic Republic of Congo is indefinite (no agreement has been reached on division of river or its islands, except in Stanley Pool/Pool Malebo area)