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Capital City: Brazzaville



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.

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 water: 500 sq km land: 341,500 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, natural gas, hydropower

Land use:  arable land: 1% permanent crops: 0% other: 99% (1998 est.)

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;

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:  2,958,448 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:  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:  2.18% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  37.91 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  16.1 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  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:  97.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   51.24 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  4.94 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  6.43% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  86,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  8,600 (1999 est.)

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:  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
has the most users)

Literacy:  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:   Republic of the Congo conventional short form:
Congo/Brazzaville, Congo local long form: Republique du Congo

Government type:  republic

Capital:  Brazzaville

Administrative divisions:  9 regions (regions, singular - region) and 1
commune*; Bouenza, Brazzaville*, Cuvette, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala,
Niari, Plateaux, Pool, Sangha

Independence:  15 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 15 August (1960)

Constitution:  constitution approved by referendum in 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 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) head of government:
civil war in which he toppled elected president Pascal LISSOUBA); note -
the president is both the chief of state and head of government cabinet:
SASSOU-NGUESSO reelected president; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO
89.4%, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia MBOUNGOU 2.7%

Legislative branch:  unicameral National Transitional Council (75 seats,
members elected by reconciliation forum of 1,420 delegates in January
1998); note - the National Transitional Council will be replaced by a
bicameral Parliament, with a National Assembly and Senate, following
elections in 2002 elections: National Transitional Council - last held
NA January 1998 (next to be held in 2002); note - at that election
the National Transitional Council is to be replaced by a bicameral
legislature election results: National Transitional Council - percent
of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA

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 [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, BDEAC, CCC,
IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW (signatory),

Diplomatic representation in the US:  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:   NA mailing address:  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. 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.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $2.5 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  4.2% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $900 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 10% industry: 48% services:
42% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  3% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  NA

Unemployment rate:  NA%

Budget:  revenues: $870 million expenditures: $970 million, including
capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

Industries:  petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar,
palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes

Industrial production growth rate:  NA%

Electricity - production:  302 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 0.66% hydro: 99.34%
other: 0% (1999) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  406.9 million kWh (1999)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (1999)

Electricity - imports:  126 million kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products:  cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts,
vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products

Exports:  $2.6 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

Exports - commodities:  petroleum 90%, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa,
coffee, diamonds

Exports - partners:  US 20.9%, South Korea 15.5%, China 6.7%, Germany 3.2%

Imports:  $725 million (f.o.b., 2001)

Imports - commodities:  petroleum products, capital equipment,
construction materials, foodstuffs

Imports - partners:  France 20.5%, US 9.8%, Italy 7.5%, Belgium 3.8%

Debt - external:  $5 billion (1999 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  $159.1 million (1995)

Currency:  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 - 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:  calendar year

Communications Congo, Republic of the

Telephones - main lines in use:  22,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  250,000 (2001)

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:
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 Service Providers (ISPs):  1 (2000)

Internet users:  500 (2000)

Transportation Congo, Republic of the

Railways:  total: 894 km narrow gauge: 894 km 1.067-m gauge (2000 est.)

Highways:  total: 12,800 km paved: 1,242 km unpaved: 11,558 km (1996)

Waterways:  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

Pipelines:  crude oil 25 km

Ports and harbors:  Brazzaville, Impfondo, Ouesso, Oyo, Pointe-Noire

Airports:  33 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 4 over 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m:
3 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 29 1,524 to 2,437 m: 7 914 to
1,523 m: 10 under 914 m: 12 (2001)

Military Congo, Republic of the

Military branches:  Army, Air Force, Navy, Gendarmerie, National Police

Military manpower - military age:  20 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 702,048 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 356,388
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 32,350
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $84 million (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  2.8% (FY01)

Transnational Issues Congo, Republic of the

Disputes - international:  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 1 January 2002




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