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Africa :: Congo, Republic of the
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Congo, Republic of the
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Introduction ::Congo, Republic of the
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Upon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government took office in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO, and ushered in a period of ethnic and political unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003, but the calm is tenuous and refugees continue to present a humanitarian crisis. The Republic of Congo was once one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term.
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Geography ::Congo, Republic of the
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Western Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
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1 00 S, 15 00 E
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total: 342,000 sq km
country comparison to the world: 63
land: 341,500 sq km
water: 500 sq km
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slightly smaller than Montana
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total: 5,504 km
border countries: Angola 201 km, Cameroon 523 km, Central African Republic 467 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,410 km, Gabon 1,903 km
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169 km
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territorial sea: 200 nm
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tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
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coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
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lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m
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petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower
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arable land: 1.45%
permanent crops: 0.15%
other: 98.4% (2005)
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20 sq km (2003)
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832 cu km (1987)
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total: 0.03 cu km/yr (59%/29%/12%)
per capita: 8 cu m/yr (2000)
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seasonal flooding
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air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from the dumping of raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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about 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
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People ::Congo, Republic of the
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4,012,809
country comparison to the world: 127
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2009 est.)
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0-14 years: 45.9% (male 927,599/female 915,540)
15-64 years: 51.2% (male 1,021,975/female 1,034,119)
65 years and over: 2.8% (male 46,687/female 66,889) (2009 est.)
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total: 16.8 years
male: 16.6 years
female: 17.1 years (2009 est.)
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2.754% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
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41.37 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
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12.01 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
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-1.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
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urban population: 61% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 79.78 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 22
male: 85.29 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 74.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 54.15 years
country comparison to the world: 196
male: 52.9 years
female: 55.43 years (2009 est.)
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5.84 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13
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3.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
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79,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
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6,400 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
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degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria and African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
animal contact disease: rabies
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2009)
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noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
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Kongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%
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Christian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2%
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French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.8%
male: 89.6%
female: 78.4% (2003 est.)
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total: 9 years
male: 10 years
female: 8 years (2003)
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1.9% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 169
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Government ::Congo, Republic of the
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conventional long form: Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)
local long form: Republique du Congo
local short form: none
former: Middle Congo, Congo/Brazzaville, Congo
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republic
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name: Brazzaville
geographic coordinates: 4 15 S, 15 17 E
time difference: UTC+1 (six hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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10 regions (regions, singular - region) and 1 commune*; Bouenza, Brazzaville*, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pool, Sangha
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15 August 1960 (from France)
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Independence Day, 15 August (1960)
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approved by referendum 20 January 2002
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based on French civil law system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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18 years of age; universal
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chief of state: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997, following the civil war in which he toppled elected president Pascal LISSOUBA); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997); note - the position of Prime Minister was abolished in September 2009
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 12 July 2009 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO reelected president; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO 78.6%, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia MBOUNGOU 7.5%, Nicephore Fylla de SAINT-EUDES 7%
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bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (72 seats; members are elected by indirect vote to serve five-year terms) and the National Assembly (137 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 5 August 2008 (next to be held in 2013); National Assembly - last held 24 June and 5 August 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RMP 33, FDU 23, UPADS 2, independents 7, other 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT 46, MCDDI 11, UPADS 11, MAR 5, MSD 5, independents 37, other 22
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Supreme Court or Cour Supreme
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Action Movement for Renewal or MAR; Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Michel MAMPOUYA]; Congolese Labour Party or PCT; Movement for Solidarity and Development or MSD; Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Martin MBERI]; Rally of the Presidential Majority or RMP; Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Jean-Pierre Thystere TCHICAYA, president]; Rally for Democracy and the Republic or RDR [Raymond Damasge NGOLLO]; Union for Democracy and Republic or UDR; United Democratic Forces or FDU [Sebastian EBAO]; many less important parties
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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
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ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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chief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI
chancery: 4891 Colorado Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860
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chief of mission: Ambassador Allan EASTHAM
embassy: Boulevard de la Revolution, BDEAC Building, 4th Floor, Brazzaville; note - a new embassy is expected to open in 2009
mailing address: B.P. 1015, Brazzaville
telephone: [242] 281-1481, 281-3368; note - until the new embassy in Brazzaville becomes operational, some duties will still be handled in the US embassy in Kinshasha, Democratic Republic of the Congo
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divided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a yellow band; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is red
note: uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
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Economy ::Congo, Republic of the
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The economy is a mixture of subsistence agriculture, an industrial sector based largely on oil, and support services, and a government characterized by budget problems and overstaffing. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. In the early 1980s, rapidly rising oil revenues enabled the government to finance large-scale development projects with GDP growth averaging 5% annually, one of the highest rates in Africa. The government has mortgaged a substantial portion of its oil earnings through oil-backed loans that have contributed to a growing debt burden and chronic revenue shortfalls. Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF. However, the reform program came to a halt in June 1997 when civil war erupted. Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO, who returned to power when the war ended in October 1997, publicly expressed interest in moving forward on economic reforms and privatization and in renewing cooperation with international financial institutions. Economic progress was badly hurt by slumping oil prices and the resumption of armed conflict in December 1998, which worsened the republic's budget deficit. The current administration presides over an uneasy internal peace and faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. Recovery of oil prices has boosted the economy's GDP and near-term prospects. In March 2006, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) treatment for Congo.
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$15.35 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
$14.43 billion (2007 est.)
$14.66 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$10.77 billion (2008 est.)
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6.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
-1.6% (2007 est.)
6.2% (2006 est.)
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$3,900 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
$3,800 (2007 est.)
$4,000 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 5.6%
industry: 57.1%
services: 37.3% (2006 est.)
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NA
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NA%
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NA%
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lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
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34.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 9
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revenues: $4.515 billion
expenditures: $2.721 billion (2008 est.)
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6.6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
2.7% (2007 est.)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 88
5.25% (31 December 2007)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 46
15% (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 106
$1.4 billion (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 152
$204.3 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
$NA (31 December 2007)
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$NA
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cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
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petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
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7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
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400 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
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471 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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449 million kWh (2007 est.)
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239,900 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
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9,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
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241,100 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
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2,136 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177
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1.6 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
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180 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
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180 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
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0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 193
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195
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90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
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$1.085 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
$-2.181 billion (2007 est.)
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$10.85 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
$5.808 billion (2007 est.)
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petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
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US 44.5%, China 32.8%, France 6% (2008)
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$2.988 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
$2.858 billion (2007 est.)
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capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
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France 19.1%, China 15.6%, South Korea 15.2%, US 4.8%, India 4.7%, Italy 4.5% (2008)
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$3.873 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$2.184 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$5 billion (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
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Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar - 447.81 (2008 est.), 483.6 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004)
note: since 1 January 1999, the Central African CFA franc (XAF) has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA francs per euro; Central African CFA franc (XAF) coins and banknotes are not accepted in countries using West African CFA francs (XOF), and vice versa, even though the two currencies trade at par
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Communications ::Congo, Republic of the
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22,200 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 191
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1.807 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 125
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general assessment: services barely adequate for government use; key exchanges are in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, and Loubomo; intercity lines frequently out of order; fixed-line infrastructure inadequate providing less than 1 connection per 100 persons; in the absence of an adequate fixed line infrastructure, mobile-cellular subscribership has surged and is approaching 50 per 100 persons
domestic: primary network consists of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable
international: country code - 242; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2008)
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AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 3 (2001)
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1 (2001)
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.cg
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18 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 216
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155,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 142
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Transportation ::Congo, Republic of the
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25 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 131
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total: 6
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2009)
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total: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 1 (2009)
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gas 7 km; oil 207 km (2008)
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total: 795 km
country comparison to the world: 103
narrow gauge: 795 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
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total: 17,289 km
country comparison to the world: 119
paved: 864 km
unpaved: 16,425 km (2004)
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1,120 km (commercially navigable on Congo and Oubanqui rivers) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 62
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registered in other countries: 1 (Congo, Democratic Republic of the 1) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 148
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Brazzaville, Djeno, Impfondo, Ouesso, Oyo, Pointe-Noire
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Military ::Congo, Republic of the
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Congolese Armed Forces (Forces Armees Congolaises, FAC): Army (Armee de Terre), Navy, Congolese Air Force (Armee de l'Air Congolaise), Gendarmerie, Special Presidential Security Guard (GSSP) (2009)
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18 years of age for voluntary military service; women allowed to serve (2007)
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males age 16-49: 842,771
females age 16-49: 833,624 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 538,202
females age 16-49: 527,649 (2009 est.)
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male: 46,976
female: 46,490 (2009 est.)
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3.1% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 46
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Transnational Issues ::Congo, Republic of the
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the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is indefinite except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area
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refugees (country of origin): 46,341 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 6,564 (Rwanda)
IDPs: 48,000 (multiple civil wars since 1992; most IDPs are ethnic Lari) (2007)
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current situation: Republic of the Congo is a source and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation; girls are trafficked from rural areas within the country for commercial sexual exploitation, forced street vending, and domestic servitude; children are trafficked from other African countries for domestic servitude, forced market vending, and forced labor in the fishing industry
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Republic of the Congo is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons in 2007; struggling to recover from six years of civil conflict that ended in 2003, the Republic of the Congo's capacity to address trafficking is handicapped; the government neither monitors its borders for trafficking activity nor provides specialized anti-trafficking training for law enforcement officials; the government does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions, and has not taken measures to reduce demand for commercial sex acts in the Republic of the Congo (2008)
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The online Factbook is updated bi-weekly. ISSN 1553-8133
For additional information on government leaders in selected foreign countries, go to World Leaders.