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  Congo, Republic of the  
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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of Congo, Republic of the

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Congo, Republic of the
Definition 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 installed in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President SASSOU-NGUESSO.
   Geography    Congo, Republic of the
Definition Field Listing
Western Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
Geographic coordinates:
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1 00 S, 15 00 E
Map references:
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Definition Field Listing
total: 342,000 sq km
water: 500 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
Area - comparative:
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slightly smaller than Montana
Land boundaries:
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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
Definition Field Listing
169 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 200 NM
Definition Field Listing
tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); constantly high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
Definition Field Listing
coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, natural gas, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 0.5%
permanent crops: 0.13%
other: 99.37% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
10 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
seasonal flooding
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from the dumping of raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
about 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
   People    Congo, Republic of the
Definition Field Listing
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 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 42.4% (male 630,985; female 622,024)
15-64 years: 54.3% (male 783,238; female 823,882)
65 years and over: 3.3% (male 39,369; female 58,950) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.18% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
37.91 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
16.1 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
97.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 47.71 years
female: 51.24 years (2002 est.)
male: 44.27 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.94 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
6.43% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
86,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
8,600 (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
Christian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2%
Definition Field Listing
French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo has the most users)
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.9%
male: 83.1%
female: 67.2% (1995 est.)
   Government    Congo, Republic of the
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)
local short form: none
former: Middle Congo, Congo/Brazzaville, Congo
local long form: Republique du Congo
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
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9 regions (regions, singular - region) and 1 commune*; Bouenza, Brazzaville*, Cuvette, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pool, Sangha
Definition Field Listing
15 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 15 August (1960)
Definition Field Listing
constitution approved by referendum in January 2002
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on French civil law system and customary law
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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 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:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
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 the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Robin R. SANDERS
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:
Definition 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; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
   Economy    Congo, Republic of the
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
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. Given a fragile peace, agreements with the IMF and the World Bank, and general international support for reconstruction and development, prospects for structural reform and 4% growth in 2002-03 appear strong.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $2.5 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.2% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $900 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 10%
industry: 48%
services: 42% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
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Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
3% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
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Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $870 million
expenditures: $970 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)
Definition Field Listing
petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
302 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 1%
hydro: 99%
other: 0% (1999)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
406.9 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
126 million kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
Definition Field Listing
$2.6 billion f.o.b. (2001)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum 90%, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 20.9%, South Korea 15.5%, China 6.7%, Germany 3.2% (2000)
Definition Field Listing
$725 million f.o.b. (2001)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum products, capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 20.5%, US 9.8%, Italy 7.5%, Belgium 3.8% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$5 billion (1999 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$159.1 million (1995) (1995)
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 742.79 (January 2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997); note - from 1 January 1999, the XAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XAF per euro
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Congo, Republic of the
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
22,000 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
3,300 (1998)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 3 (2001)
Definition Field Listing
341,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2002)
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33,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
1 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
500 (2001)
   Transportation    Congo, Republic of the
Definition Field Listing
total: 894 km
narrow gauge: 894 km 1.067-m gauge (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
total: 12,800 km
paved: 1,242 km
unpaved: 11,558 km (1996)
Definition Field Listing
1,120 km
note: the Congo and Ubangi (Oubangui) rivers provide 1,120 km of commercially navigable water transport; other rivers are used for local traffic only
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 25 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Brazzaville, Impfondo, Ouesso, Oyo, Pointe-Noire
Definition Field Listing
33 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Air Force, Navy, Gendarmerie, National Police
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 702,048 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 356,388 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 32,350 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$84 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
2.8% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    Congo, Republic of the
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
most of the Congo River boundary with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is indefinite (no agreement has been reached on the division of the river or its islands, except in the Stanley Pool/Pool Malebo area)

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

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