World Factbook

Congo, Republic of the

Introduction

Africa :: 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 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

Location:
Central 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
Country comparison to the world: 64
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: 1.46%
Permanent crops: 0.18%
Other: 98.36% (2011)

Irrigated land:
20 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
832 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 0.05 cu km/yr (69%/26%/4%)
Per capita: 13.99 cu m/yr (2005)

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, 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:
about 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them

People and Society

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%

Languages:
French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)

Religions:
Christian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2%

Population:
4,492,689 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 123
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

Age structure:
0-14 years: 45.1% (male 1,020,784/female 1,006,148)
15-24 years: 20.6% (male 464,410/female 460,955)
25-54 years: 28.2% (male 636,447/female 628,629)
55-64 years: 3.4% (male 67,117/female 84,919)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 50,358/female 72,922) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 84.9 %
Youth dependency ratio: 78.7 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 6.3 %
Potential support ratio: 15.9 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 17.1 years
Male: 16.9 years
Female: 17.3 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
2.86% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 16

Birth rate:
39.63 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 9

Death rate:
11.03 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 38

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 81

Urbanization:
Urban population: 63.7% of total population (2011)
Rate of urbanization: 2.84% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
BRAZZAVILLE (capital) 1.611 million (2011)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:
19.8 (2005 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
560 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 16

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 72.45 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 16
Male: 77.76 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 66.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 55.6 years
Country comparison to the world: 201
Male: 54.27 years
Female: 56.96 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
5.49 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 11

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
44.7% (2011/12)

Health expenditures:
2.5% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 187

Physicians density:
0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital bed density:
1.6 beds/1,000 population (2005)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 95% of population
rural: 32% of population
total: 71% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 5% of population
rural: 68% of population
total: 29% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 20% of population
rural: 15% of population
total: 18% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 80% of population
rural: 85% of population
total: 82% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
3.4% (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 18

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
77,000 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 46

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
5,100 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 37

Major infectious diseases:
Degree of risk: very high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne disease: malaria and dengue fever
Animal contact disease: rabies
Water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
4.7% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 163

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
11.8% (2005)
Country comparison to the world: 60

Education expenditures:
6.2% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 33

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 83.8%
Male: 89.6%
Female: 78.4% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 9 years
Male: 10 years
Female: 9 years (2003)

Child labor - children ages 5-14:
Total number: 252,171
Percentage: 25 % (2005 est.)

Government

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 15 S, 15 17 E
Time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:
10 regions (regions, singular - region) and 2 commune*; Bouenza, Brazzaville*, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pointe-Noire*, Pool, Sangha

Independence:
15 August 1960 (from France)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 15 August (1960)

Constitution:
approved by referendum 20 January 2002

Legal system:
mixed legal system of French civil law and customary law

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

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); note - the position of prime minister was abolished in September 2009
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 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%

Legislative branch:
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

Judicial branch:
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

Political parties and leaders:
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

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:
ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (candidate country), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI
Chancery: 1720 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860

Diplomatic representation from the US:
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

National symbol(s):
lion; elephant

National anthem:
Name: "La Congolaise" (The Congolese)

Lyrics/music: Jacques TONDRA and Georges KIBANGHI/Jean ROYER and Joseph SPADILIERE
note: originally adopted 1959, restored 1991

Economy

Economy - overview:
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.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$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

GDP (official exchange rate):
$13.69 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
3.8% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88
3.4% (2011 est.)
8.8% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$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

Gross national saving:
59.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 2
61.3% of GDP (2011 est.)
48.2% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
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.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 3.3%
Industry: 76.3%
Services: 20.4% (2012 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:
4% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 74

Labor force:
2.89 million (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 105

Unemployment rate:
53% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 195

Population below poverty line:
46.5% (2011 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 2.1%
Highest 10%: 37.1% (2005)

Budget:
Revenues: $6.382 billion
Expenditures: $5.927 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
46.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 19

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
3.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 17

Public debt:
18.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 130
17% of GDP (2011 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.9% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 120
1.3% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
4.25% (31 December 2009)
Country comparison to the world: 76
4.75% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
14.8% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 45
15% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$3.341 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 113
$3.341 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$3.753 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 136
$2.882 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$2.392 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 133
$1.982 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Current account balance:
$1.277 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 41
$1.85 billion (2011 est.)

Exports:
$12.14 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88
$11.63 billion (2011 est.)

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

Exports - partners:
China 38.9%, US 12.9%, France 9.5%, Australia 8.8%, Netherlands 6.8%, Spain 5.3%, India 5.3% (2012)

Imports:
$5.835 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 123
$5.023 billion (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs

Imports - partners:
France 19.2%, China 13.3%, Brazil 9%, US 6.1%, India 5.7%, Italy 4.8%, Belgium 4.3% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$6.091 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 86
$5.658 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$2.958 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 138
$2.523 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates:
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

Electricity - production:
559 million kWh (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 159

Electricity - consumption:
588 million kWh (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 165

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 175

Electricity - imports:
470 million kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 78

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
559,000 kW (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 132

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
51.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 155

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 62

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
48.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 42

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 118

Crude oil - production:
298,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 35

Crude oil - exports:
290,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 25

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 168

Crude oil - proved reserves:
1.6 billion bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 35

Refined petroleum products - production:
10,460 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 104

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
10,710 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 152

Refined petroleum products - exports:
5,146 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 96

Refined petroleum products - imports:
5,326 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 152

Natural gas - production:
946 million cu m (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 65

Natural gas - consumption:
930 million cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 90

Natural gas - exports:
39 million cu m (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 46

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 173

Natural gas - proved reserves:
90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 58

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
6.518 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 115

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
14,200 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 196

Telephones - mobile cellular:
3.885 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 117

Telephone system:
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)

Broadcast media:
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)

Internet country code:
.cg

Internet hosts:
45 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 215

Internet users:
245,200 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 136

Transportation

Airports:
27 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 125

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 8
Over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 9
Under 914 m:
2 (2013)

Pipelines:
gas 232 km; liquid petroleum gas 4 km; oil 982 km (2013)

Railways:
Total: 886 km
Country comparison to the world: 94
Narrow gauge: 886 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:
Total: 17,289 km
Country comparison to the world: 118
Paved: 864 km
Unpaved: 16,425 km (2004)

Waterways:
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

Merchant marine:
Registered in other countries: 1 (Democratic Republic of the Congo 1) (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 155

Ports and terminals:
Major seaport(s): Pointe-Noire
River port(s): Brazzaville (Congo); Impfondo (Oubangi); Ouesso (Sangha); Oyo (Alima)
Oil/gas terminal(s): Djeno

Military

Military branches:
Congolese Armed Forces (Forces Armees Congolaises, FAC): Army (Armee de Terre), Navy, Congolese Air Force (Armee de l'Air Congolaise); Gendarmerie; Special Presidential Security Guard (GSSP) (2011)

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; women can serve in the Armed Forces; no conscription (2012)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 928,664
Females age 16-49: 914,265 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 577,944
Females age 16-49: 566,587 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 50,000
Female: 49,641 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
1.7% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 84

Transnational Issues

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

Flag of Congo, Republic of the



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; 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