Africa :: Congo, Republic of the

Introduction ::Congo, Republic of the

    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 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

People and Society ::Congo, Republic of the

Government ::Congo, Republic of the

    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
    name: Brazzaville
    geographic coordinates: 4 15 S, 15 17 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    10 regions (regions, singular - region) and 2 commune*; Bouenza, Brazzaville*, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pointe-Noire*, Pool, Sangha
    15 August 1960 (from France)
    Independence Day, 15 August (1960)
    approved by referendum 20 January 2002
    mixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    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
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    elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 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%, other 6.9%
    bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (72 seats; members elected by indirect vote to serve five-year terms) and the National Assembly (139 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)
    elections: Senate - last held on 5 August 2008 (next to be held in July 2014); National Assembly - last held on 15 July and 5 August 2012 (next to be held in 2018)
    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 (and allies) 117, UPADS 7, independents 12, vacant 3
    highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges)
    note - the High Court of Justice, outside the judicial authority, tries cases involving treason by the president of the republic
    judge selection and term of office: judges elected by parliament and serve until retirement age
    subordinate courts: courts of appeal; regional and district courts; employment tribunals; juvenile courts
    Action Movement for Renewal or MAR
    Congolese Labour Party or PCT
    Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Michel MAMPOUYA]
    Movement for Solidarity and Development or MSD
    Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Martin MBERI]
    Rally for Democracy and the Republic or RDR [Raymond Damasge NGOLLO]
    Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Jean-Pierre Thystere TCHICAYA, president]
    Rally of the Presidential Majority or RMP
    Union for Democracy and Republic or UDR
    United Democratic Forces or FDU [Sebastian EBAO]
    many smaller parties
    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
    chief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI
    chancery: 1720 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
    FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860
    chief of mission: Ambassador Christopher W. MURRAY
    embassy: 70-83 Section D, Maya-Maya Boulevard, Brazzaville;
    mailing address: B.P. 1015, Brazzaville
    telephone: [242] 06 612-200
    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
    lion; elephant
    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

    The economy is a mixture of subsistence hunting and agriculture, 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, that may enter production as early as late 2013 may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue. Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF, including recently concluded Article IV consultations. 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 faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The drop in oil prices during the global crisis reduced oil revenue by about 30%, but the subsequent recovery of oil prices boosted the economy's GDP from 2009-12. In March 2006, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) treatment for Congo, which received $1.9 billion in debt relief under the program in 2010. Congo also restructured old defaulted London Club debt in 2007, which effectively cancelled 80% of its private debt. Contracts with China have increased Congo's publicly held debt. Officially the country became a net external creditor as of 2011, with external debt representing less than 22% of GDP and debt servicing less than 3% of government revenue.
    $19.41 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    $18.69 billion (2011 est.)
    $18.08 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $13.69 billion (2012 est.)
    3.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    3.4% (2011 est.)
    8.8% (2010 est.)
    $4,700 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    $4,700 (2011 est.)
    $4,700 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    59.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    61.3% of GDP (2011 est.)
    48.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 22%
    government consumption: 15.6%
    investment in fixed capital: 51.9%
    investment in inventories: 1%
    exports of goods and services: 105.6%
    imports of goods and services: -96.1%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 3.3%
    industry: 76.3%
    services: 20.4% (2012 est.)
    cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
    petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
    4% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    2.89 million (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    53% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    46.5% (2011 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.1%
    highest 10%: 37.1% (2005)
    revenues: $6.382 billion
    expenditures: $5.927 billion (2012 est.)
    46.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    3.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    18.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    17% of GDP (2011 est.)
    calendar year
    3.9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    1.3% (2011 est.)
    4.25% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    4.75% (31 December 2008)
    14.8% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    15% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $3.341 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    $3.341 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $3.753 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    $2.882 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $2.392 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    $1.982 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $1.277 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    $1.85 billion (2011 est.)
    $12.14 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    $11.63 billion (2011 est.)
    petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
    China 38.9%, US 12.9%, France 9.5%, Australia 8.8%, Netherlands 6.8%, Spain 5.3%, India 5.3% (2012)
    $5.835 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    $5.023 billion (2011 est.)
    capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
    France 19.2%, China 13.3%, Brazil 9%, US 6.1%, India 5.7%, Italy 4.8%, Belgium 4.3% (2012)
    $6.091 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    $5.658 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $2.958 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    $2.523 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
    510.53 (2012 est.)
    471.87 (2011 est.)
    495.28 (2010 est.)
    472.19 (2009)
    447.81 (2008)

Energy ::Congo, Republic of the

Communications ::Congo, Republic of the

    14,200 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    3.885 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    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
    domestic: 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 to 90 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 242; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
    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 (2007)
    45 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    245,200 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 136

Transportation ::Congo, Republic of the

    27 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    total: 8
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2013)
    total: 19
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
    914 to 1,523 m: 9
    under 914 m:
    2 (2013)
    gas 232 km; liquid petroleum gas 4 km; oil 982 km (2013)
    total: 886 km
    country comparison to the world: 94
    narrow gauge: 886 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
    total: 17,289 km
    country comparison to the world: 118
    paved: 864 km
    unpaved: 16,425 km (2004)
    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, thereby necessitating a rail connection to Pointe Noire; other rivers are used for local traffic only) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    registered in other countries: 1 (Democratic Republic of the Congo 1) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    major seaport(s): Pointe-Noire
    river port(s): Brazzaville (Congo); Impfondo (Oubangi); Ouesso (Sangha); Oyo (Alima)
    oil/gas terminal(s): Djeno

Military ::Congo, Republic of the

Transnational Issues ::Congo, Republic of the

    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 (country of origin): 8,404 (Rwanda); 89,424 (Democratic Republic of Congo) (2012)
    IDPs: 7,800 (multiple civil wars since 1992) (2009)