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Congo, Republic of the[Country flag of Congo, Republic of the]
[Country map of Congo, Republic of the]

Introduction Congo, Republic of the
Background:
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 installed in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President SASSOU-NGUESSO, but ushered in a period of ethnic 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 is one of Africa's largest petroleum producers with significant potential for offshore development.
Geography Congo, Republic of the
Location:
Western Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
Geographic coordinates:
1 00 S, 15 00 E
Map references:
Africa
Area:
total: 342,000 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
water: 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 the Congo 2,410 km, Gabon 1,903 km
Coastline:
169 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm
Climate:
tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); constantly high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
Terrain:
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, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 0.51%
permanent crops: 0.13%
other: 99.36% (2001)
Irrigated land:
10 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
seasonal flooding
Environment - current issues:
air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from the 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 the Sea
Geography - note:
about 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
People Congo, Republic of the
Population:
3,039,126
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 37.3% (male 571,011/female 563,414)
15-64 years: 59% (male 886,297/female 907,348)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 45,799/female 65,257) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 20.7 years
male: 20.2 years
female: 21.1 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.31% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
27.88 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
14.82 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.01 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 92.41 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 98.48 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 86.16 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 52.26 years
male: 51.17 years
female: 53.39 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
3.54 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
4.9% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
90,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
9,700 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2004)
Nationality:
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 the 1997 civil war; may be half that in 1998, following the widespread destruction of foreign businesses in 1997
Religions:
Christian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2%
Languages:
French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.8%
male: 89.6%
female: 78.4% (2003 est.)
Government Congo, Republic of the
Country name:
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
Government type:
republic
Capital:
Brazzaville
Administrative divisions:
10 regions (regions, singular - region) and 1 commune*; Bouenza, Brazzaville*, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pool, Sangha
Independence:
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
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
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, 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
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the 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 the Senate (66 seats; members are elected by popular 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 11 July 2002 (next to be held 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:
the most important of the many parties are the 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 the National Reconstruction, and Union for the 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 the 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:
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOCI, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI
chancery: 4891 Colorado Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Roger A. MEECE
embassy: NA
mailing address: NA
telephone: [243] (88) 43608
note: the embassy is temporarily collocated with the US Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (US Embassy Kinshasa, 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa)
Flag description:
divided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a yellow band; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is red; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
Economy Congo, Republic of the
Economy - overview:
The 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 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, contributing to a shortage of revenues. The 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 the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF. 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. However, 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$2.324 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.7% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $800 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 7.4%
industry: 52%
services: 40.6% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
NA
Unemployment rate:
NA (2003)
Population below poverty line:
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.8% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
25.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $870.1 million
expenditures: $1.102 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
Industries:
petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate:
0% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
348 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.3%
hydro: 99.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
573.6 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
250 million kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
227,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
5,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA
Oil - imports:
NA
Oil - proved reserves:
93.5 million bbl (1 January 2002)
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 (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$266 million (2004 est.)
Exports:
$2.224 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
Exports - partners:
China 26.8%, Taiwan 19.2%, North Korea 8.4%, US 7.3%, France 5.5%, South Korea 4.8% (2004)
Imports:
$749.3 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
France 32.7%, US 10.1%, Germany 6.2%, Italy 6%, China 5.2%, Netherlands 4.5% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$40.42 million (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$5 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$159.1 million (1995)
Currency (code):
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Currency code:
XAF
Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Congo, Republic of the
Telephones - main lines in use:
7,000 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
330,000 (2003)
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: country code - 242; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 3 (2001)
Radios:
341,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2002)
Televisions:
33,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.cg
Internet hosts:
46 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
15,000 (2003)
Transportation Congo, Republic of the
Railways:
total: 894 km
narrow gauge: 894 km 1.067-m gauge (2004)
Highways:
total: 12,800 km
paved: 1,242 km
unpaved: 11,558 km (1999 est.)
Waterways:
4,385 km (on Congo and Oubanqui rivers) (2004)
Pipelines:
gas 53 km; oil 646 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Brazzaville, Djeno, Impfondo, Ouesso, Oyo, Pointe-Noire
Airports:
32 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 28
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 11 (2004 est.)
Military Congo, Republic of the
Military branches:
Congolese Armed Forces (FAC): Army, Air Force (Armee de l'Air Congolaise), Navy, Gendarmerie, Republican Guard (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 686,123 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 360,492 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males: 34,281 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$126.5 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.8% (2004)
Transnational Issues Congo, Republic of the
Disputes - international:
about 7,000 Congolese refugees fleeing internal civil conflicts since the mid-1990s still reside in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; 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
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
IDPs: 60,000 (multiple civil wars since 1992; most IDPs are ethnic Lari) (2004)

This page was last updated on 1 November, 2005


 

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