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CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Congo, Republic of the
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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 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 was once one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need to hope for new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term.
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); persistent 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: 1.45%
permanent crops: 0.15%
other: 98.4% (2005)
Irrigated land:
20 sq km (2003)
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:
3,702,314
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 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 46.4% (male 864,407/female 853,728)
15-64 years: 50.7% (male 930,390/female 945,545)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 44,430/female 63,814) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 16.6 years
male: 16.4 years
female: 16.9 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.6% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
42.57 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
12.93 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
-3.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 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: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 85.29 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 91 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 79.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 52.8 years
male: 51.65 years
female: 53.98 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
6.07 children born/woman (2006 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 (2005)
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%
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:
name: Brazzaville
geographic coordinates: 4 16 S, 15 17 E
time difference: UTC+1 (six hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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 term); election last held 10 March 2002 (next to be held in 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 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 [Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO, president] (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); 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; 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, IPU, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW (signatory), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), 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 (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mark BIEDLINGMAIER
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 through oil-backed loans that have contributed to a growing debt burden and chronic revenue shortfalls. Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF. However, 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. 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. Recovery of oil prices has boosted the economy's GDP and near-term prospects. The Republic of Congo may be eligible for an IMF-World Bank heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative in early 2006, provided it meets the strict fiscal and monetary targets set out for it under a new three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) with the IMF.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$4.631 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$4.694 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
8% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,300 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6.2%
industry: 57%
services: 36.9% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
NA
Unemployment rate:
NA%
Population below poverty line:
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.2% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
21.5% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $1.328 billion
expenditures: $1.065 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 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:
343 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.3%
hydro: 99.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
619 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
300 million kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
267,100 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
5,200 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
93.5 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m
Natural gas - proved reserves:
90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$493 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
$2.209 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
Exports - partners:
China 39.1%, US 29.1%, Taiwan 11.8%, South Korea 7.2% (2005)
Imports:
$806.5 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
France 28.6%, China 12.6%, US 9%, Italy 8.3%, Belgium 5.7%, Netherlands 4.7% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$273 million (2005 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 - 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002), 733.04 (2001)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Congo, Republic of the
Telephones - main lines in use:
13,800 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
490,000 (2005)
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 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
36,000 (2005)
Transportation Congo, Republic of the
Airports:
32 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 28
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 11 (2006)
Pipelines:
gas 53 km; oil 646 km (2004)
Railways:
total: 894 km
narrow gauge: 894 km 1.067-m gauge (2005)
Roadways:
total: 12,800 km
paved: 1,242 km
unpaved: 11,558 km (1999)
Waterways:
4,385 km (on Congo and Oubanqui rivers) (2005)
Merchant marine:
by type: cargo 1
foreign-owned: 1 (France 1)
registered in other countries: 1 (unknown 1) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Brazzaville, Djeno, Impfondo, Ouesso, Oyo, Pointe-Noire
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: 688,628
females age 18-49: 685,388 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 406,016
females age 18-49: 394,745 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 38,464
females age 18-49: 38,082 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$85.22 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.4% (2005 est.)
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:
refugees (country of origin): 53,834 (Democratic Republic of Congo)
IDPs: 60,000 (multiple civil wars since 1992; most IDPs are ethnic Lari) (2005)

This page was last updated on 19 September, 2006