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Africa :: Congo, Republic of the Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Congo, Republic of the
  • Background field listing
    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 two-year civil war that ended in 1999 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, who had ruled from 1979 to 1992, and sparked a short period of ethnic and political unrest that was resolved by a peace agreement in late 1999. A new constitution adopted three years later provided for a multi-party system and a seven-year presidential term, and elections arranged shortly thereafter installed SASSOU-Nguesso. Following a year of renewed fighting, President SASSOU-Nguesso and southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003. SASSOU-Nguesso was reeelected in 2009 and, after passing a referendum allowing him to run for a third term, was reelected again in 2016. The Republic of Congo is 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.
  • Geography :: Congo, Republic of the
  • Location field listing
    Central Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    1 00 S, 15 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 342,000 sq km
    land: 341,500 sq km
    water: 500 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly smaller than Montana; about twice the size of Florida
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 5,008 km
    border countries (5): Angola 231 km, Cameroon 494 km, Central African Republic 487 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1229 km, Gabon 2567 km
    Coastline field listing
    169 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    Climate field listing
    tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
    Terrain field listing
    coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 430 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m
    Natural resources field listing
    petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 31.1% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 1.6% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.2% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 29.3% (2011 est.)
    forest: 65.6% (2011 est.)
    other: 3.3% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    20 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    the population is primarily located in the south, in and around the capital of Brazzaville as shown in this population distribution map
    Natural hazards field listing
    seasonal flooding
    Environment - current issues field listing
    air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation; wildlife protection
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    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
    Geography - note field listing
    about 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
  • People and Society :: Congo, Republic of the
  • Population field listing
    5,293,070 (July 2020 est.)

    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

    country comparison to the world: 121
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
    adjective: Congolese or Congo
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Kongo 40.5%, Teke 16.9%, Mbochi 13.1%, foreigner 8.2%, Sangha 5.6%, Mbere/Mbeti/Kele 4.4%, Punu 4.3%, Pygmy 1.6%, Oubanguiens 1.6%, Duma 1.5%, Makaa 1.3%, other and unspecified 1% (2014-15 est.)
    Languages field listing
    French (official), French Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
    Religions field listing
    Roman Catholic 33.1%, Awakening Churches/Christian Revival 22.3%, Protestant 19.9%, Salutiste 2.2%, Muslim 1.6%, Kimbanguiste 1.5%, other 8.1%, none 11.3% (2010 est.)
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 41.57% (male 1,110,484/female 1,089,732)
    15-24 years: 17.14% (male 454,981/female 452,204)
    25-54 years: 33.5% (male 886,743/female 886,312)
    55-64 years: 4.59% (male 125,207/female 117,810)
    65 years and over: 3.2% (male 75,921/female 93,676) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 78.7
    youth dependency ratio: 73.7
    elderly dependency ratio: 4.9
    potential support ratio: 20.3 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 19.5 years
    male: 19.3 years
    female: 19.7 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    Population growth rate field listing
    2.26% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Birth rate field listing
    32.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Death rate field listing
    8.7 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Net migration rate field listing
    -0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Population distribution field listing
    the population is primarily located in the south, in and around the capital of Brazzaville as shown in this population distribution map
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 67.8% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 3.28% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    2.388 million BRAZZAVILLE (capital), 1.214 million Pointe-Noire (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    19.8 years (2011/12 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    378 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 50.7 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 55.3 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 45.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 61.3 years
    male: 59.9 years
    female: 62.7 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    Total fertility rate field listing
    4.45 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    30.1% (2014/15)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 97.5% of population
    rural: 56.4% of population
    total: 83.7% of population
    unimproved: urban: 2.5% of population
    rural: 43.6% of population
    total: 16.3% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    2.9% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    0.16 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 73.4% of population
    rural: 15.1% of population
    total: 53.9% of population
    unimproved: urban: 26.6% of population
    rural: 84.9% of population
    total: 46.1% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    3.1% (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    100,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    4,500 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: very high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
    animal contact diseases: rabies
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    9.6% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    12.3% (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Education expenditures field listing
    4.6% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 80.3%
    male: 86.1%
    female: 74.6% (2018)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 11 years
    male: 11 years
    female: 11 years (2012)
  • Government :: Congo, Republic of the
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Republic of the Congo
    conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)
    local long form: Republique du Congo
    local short form: Congo
    former: French Congo, Middle Congo, People's Republic of the Congo, Congo/Brazzaville
    etymology: named for the Congo River, which makes up much of the country's eastern border; the river name derives from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom that occupied its mouth at the time of Portuguese discovery in the late 15th century and whose name stems from its people the Bakongo, meaning "hunters"
    Government type field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Brazzaville
    geographic coordinates: 4 15 S, 15 17 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: named after the Italian-born French explorer and humanitarian, Pierre Savorgnan de BRAZZA (1852-1905), who promoted French colonial interests in central Africa and worked against slavery and the abuse of African laborers
    Administrative divisions field listing
    12 departments (departments, singular - department); Bouenza, Brazzaville, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pointe-Noire, Pool, Sangha
    Independence field listing
    15 August 1960 (from France)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 15 August (1960)
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest approved by referendum 25 October 2015
    amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by Parliament; passage of presidential proposals requires Supreme Court review followed by approval in a referendum; such proposals may also be submitted directly to Parliament, in which case passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote of both houses in joint session; proposals by Parliament require three-fourths majority vote of both houses in joint session; constitutional articles including those affecting the country’s territory, republican form of government, and secularity of the state are not amendable
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Republic of the Congo
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997)
    head of government: Prime Minister Clement MOUAMBA (since 24 April 2016); note - a constitutional referendum held in 2015 approved the change of the head of government from the president to the prime minister (2019)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for 2 additional terms); election last held on 20 March 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
    election results: Denis SASSOU-Nguesso reelected president in the first round; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (PCT) 60.4%, Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS (MCDDI) 15.1%, Jean-Marie MOKOKO (independent) 13.9%, Pascal Tsaty MABIALA (UPADS) 4.4%, other 6.2%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of:
    Senate (72 seats; members indirectly elected by regional councils by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms with one-half of membership renewed every 3 years)
    National Assembly (151 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 5-year terms)
    Senate - last held on 31 August 2017 for expiry of half the seats (next to be held in 2020)
    National Assembly - last held on 16 and 30 July 2017 (next to be held in July 2022)
    election results:  
    Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT 46, independent 12, MAR 2, RDPS 2, UPADS 2, DRD 1, FP 1, MCDDI 1, PRL 1, Pulp 1, PUR 1, RC 1; composition - men 58, women 14, percent of women 19.4%

    National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT 96, UPADS 8, MCDDI 4, other 23 (less than 4 seats) independent 20; composition - men 134, women 17, percent of women 11.3%; note - total Parliament percent of women 13.9%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members); note - a High Court of Justice, outside the judicial authority, tries cases involving treason by the president of the republic
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges elected by Parliament and serve until age 65; Constitutional Court members appointed by the president of the republic - 3 directly by the president and 6 nominated by Parliament; members appointed for renewable 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years
    subordinate courts: Court of Audit and Budgetary Discipline; courts of appeal; regional and district courts; employment tribunals; juvenile courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Action Movement for Renewal or MAR [Roland BOUITI-VIAUDO]
    Citizen's Rally or RC [Claude Alphonse NSILOU]
    Congolese Labour Party or PCT [Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO]
    Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Guy Price Parfait KOLELAS]
    Movement for Unity, Solidarity, and Work or MUST [Claudine MUNARI]
    Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Pascal Tsaty MABIALA]
    Party for the Unity of the Republic or PUR
    Patriotic Union for Democracy and Progress or UPDP [Auguste-Celestin GONGARD NKOUA]
    Prospects and Realities Club or CPR
    Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Bernard BATCHI]
    Rally of the Presidential Majority or RMP
    Republican and Liberal Party or PRL [Bonaventure MIZIDY]
    Union for the Republic or UR
    Union of Democratic Forces or UDF
    Union for Democracy and Republic or UDR
    many smaller parties
    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI (since 31 July 2001)
    chancery: 1720 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
    FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Todd P. HASKELL (since July 2017)
    telephone: [242] 06 612-2000
    embassy: 70-83 Section D, Maya-Maya Boulevard, Brazzaville
    mailing address: B.P. 1015, Brazzaville
    Flag description field listing
    divided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a yellow band; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is red; green symbolizes agriculture and forests, yellow the friendship and nobility of the people, red is unexplained but has been associated with the struggle for independence

    note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia

    National symbol(s) field listing
    lion, elephant; national colors: green, yellow, red
    National anthem field listing
    name: "La Congolaise" (The Congolese)
    lyrics/music: Jacques TONDRA and Georges KIBANGHI/Jean ROYER and Joseph SPADILIERE

    note: originally adopted 1959, restored 1991

  • Economy :: Congo, Republic of the
  • Economy - overview field listing

    The Republic of the Congo’s economy is a mixture of subsistence farming, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Natural gas is increasingly being converted to electricity rather than being flared, greatly improving energy prospects. New mining projects, particularly iron ore, which entered production in late 2013, may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue. The Republic of the Congo is a member of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) and shares a common currency – the Central African Franc – with five other member states in the region.

    The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The drop in oil prices that began in 2014 has constrained government spending; lower oil prices forced the government to cut more than $1 billion in planned spending. The fiscal deficit amounted to 11% of GDP in 2017. The government’s inability to pay civil servant salaries has resulted in multiple rounds of strikes by many groups, including doctors, nurses, and teachers. In the wake of a multi-year recession, the country reached out to the IMF in 2017 for a new program; the IMF noted that the country’s continued dependence on oil, unsustainable debt, and significant governance weakness are key impediments to the country’s economy. In 2018, the country’s external debt level will approach 120% of GDP. The IMF urged the government to renegotiate debts levels to sustainable levels before it agreed to a new macroeconomic adjustment package.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $29.39 billion (2017 est.)
    $30.33 billion (2016 est.)
    $31.22 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 133
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $8.718 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    -3.1% (2017 est.)
    -2.8% (2016 est.)
    2.6% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $6,800 (2017 est.)
    $7,200 (2016 est.)
    $7,500 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 161
    Gross national saving field listing
    19.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
    -12.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
    6.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 47.6% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 9.6% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 42.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.1% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 62.9% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -62.7% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 9.3% (2017 est.)
    industry: 51% (2017 est.)
    services: 39.7% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    cassava (manioc, tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
    Industries field listing
    petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    -3% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Labor force field listing
    2.055 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 35.4%
    industry: 20.6%
    services: 44% (2005 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    36% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    Population below poverty line field listing
    46.5% (2011 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2.1%
    highest 10%: 37.1% (2005)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 1.965 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 2.578 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    22.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    Public debt field listing
    130.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    128.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    0.5% (2017 est.)
    3.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Current account balance field listing
    -$1.128 billion (2017 est.)
    -$5.735 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Exports field listing
    $4.193 billion (2017 est.)
    $4.116 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Exports - partners field listing
    China 53.8%, Angola 6.2%, Gabon 5.7%, Italy 5.4%, Spain 5.4%, Australia 4.8% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
    Imports field listing
    $2.501 billion (2017 est.)
    $5.639 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Imports - commodities field listing
    capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
    Imports - partners field listing
    France 15%, China 14%, Belgium 12.2%, Norway 8.1% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $505.7 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $727.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Debt - external field listing
    $4.605 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $4.721 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Exchange rates field listing
    Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
    579.8 (2017 est.)
    593.01 (2016 est.)
    593.01 (2015 est.)
    591.45 (2014 est.)
    494.42 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Congo, Republic of the
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 2 million (2019)
    electrification - total population: 72% (2019)
    electrification - urban areas: 89% (2019)
    electrification - rural areas: 36% (2019)
    Electricity - production field listing
    1.696 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    912 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Electricity - exports field listing
    22 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Electricity - imports field listing
    18 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    591,500 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    64% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    36% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    Crude oil - production field listing
    340,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    254,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    1.6 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    15,760 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    17,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    5,766 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    7,162 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    Natural gas - production field listing
    1.387 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    1.387 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    5.239 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
  • Communications :: Congo, Republic of the
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 17,076
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 4,933,529
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 95.34 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: primary network consists of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable with services barely adequate for government use; key exchanges are in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, and Loubomo; intercity lines frequently out of order; youth are seeking the Internet more than their parents and often gaining access in cyber cafes, only the most affluent have Internet access in their homes (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line infrastructure inadequate, providing less than 1 fixed-line connection per 100 persons; in the absence of an adequate fixed-line infrastructure, mobile-cellular subscribership has surged to 95 per 100 persons (2019)
    international: country code - 242; WACS submarine cables to Europe and Western and South Africa; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    1 state-owned TV and 3 state-owned radio stations; several privately owned TV and radio stations; satellite TV service is available; rebroadcasts of several international broadcasters are available
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 437,865
    percent of population: 8.65% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
  • Transportation :: Congo, Republic of the
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 3 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 12
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 333,899 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 4.6 million mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    TN (2016)
    Airports field listing
    27 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 8 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 19 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 8 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 9 (2013)
    under 914 m: 2 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    232 km gas, 4 km liquid petroleum gas, 982 km oil (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 510 km (2014)
    narrow gauge: 510 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Roadways field listing
    total: 23,324 km (2017)
    paved: 3,111 km (2017)
    unpaved: 20,213 km (2017)
    note: road network in Congo is composed of 23,324 km of which 17,000 km are classified as national, departmental, and routes of local interest: 6,324 km are non-classified routes
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Waterways field listing
    1,120 km (commercially navigable on Congo and Oubanqui Rivers above Brazzaville; there are many ferries across the river to Kinshasa; the Congo south of Brazzaville-Kinshasa to the coast is not navigable because of rapids, necessitating a rail connection to Pointe Noire; other rivers are used for local traffic only) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 11
    by type: general cargo 1, oil tanker 1, other 9 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Pointe-Noire
    oil terminal(s): Djeno
    river port(s): Brazzaville (Congo)
    Impfondo (Oubangi) Ouesso (Sangha) Oyo (Alima)
  • Military and Security :: Congo, Republic of the
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Congolese Armed Forces (Forces Armees Congolaises, FAC): Army (Armee de Terre), Navy, Congolese Air Force (Armee de l'Air Congolaise); Gendarmerie; Presidential Guard (2019)
    Military expenditures field listing
    2.7% of GDP (2019)
    2.5% of GDP (2018)
    4.3% of GDP (2017)
    6.4% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Congolese Armed Forces (FAC) have an estimated 12,000 active duty troops (8,000 Army; 800 Navy; 1-1,200 Air Force; 2,000 Gendarmerie) (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the FAC is armed with mostly ageing Russian/former Soviet Union weapons, with some French and South African equipment; the leading suppliers of arms to the FAC since 2010 are Russia and South Africa (2019 est.)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in the Armed Forces (2013)
  • Transnational Issues :: Congo, Republic of the
  • Disputes - international field listing

    the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is undefined except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 20,700 (Central African Republic), 19,780 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2020)
    IDPs: 304,430 (multiple civil wars since 1992) (2020)
    Trafficking in persons field listing
    current situation: the Republic of the Congo is a source and destination country for children, men, and women, subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; most trafficking victims are from Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and, to a lesser extent, other neighboring countries and are subjected to domestic servitude and market vending by West African and Congolese nationals; adults and children, the majority from the DRC, are also sex trafficked in Congo, mainly Brazzaville; internal trafficking victims, often from rural areas, are exploited as domestic servants or forced to work in quarries, bakeries, fishing, and agriculture
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the Republic of the Congo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the country drafted an action plan based on anti-trafficking legislation, which remains pending in the Supreme Court; the government made minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2014, failing to prosecute or convict suspected traffickers from cases dating back to 2010; serious allegations of official complicity continue to be reported; the government lacks a systematic means of identifying victims and relies on NGOs and international organizations to identify victims and NGOs and foster families to provide care to victims; the quality of care varied widely because the foster care system was allegedly undermined by inadequate security and official complicity (2015)