Republic of the Congo - Wikipedia

Republic of the Congo – Wikipedia

Equatorial nation in Africa

Coordinates: 1°26′24″S 15°33′22″E / 1.44°S 15.556°E / -1.44; 15.556

Republic of the Congo

République du Congo  (French)
Repubilika ya Kôngo  (Kituba)
Republíki ya Kongó  (Lingala)
Flag of the Republic of the Congo

Coat of arms of the Republic of the Congo

Motto: “Unité, Travail, Progrès” (French)
(English: “Unity, Work, Progress”)

Republic of the Congo (orthographic projection).svg
Location Republic of the Congo AU Africa.svg

and largest metropolis

Brazzaville4°16′S 15°17′E / 4.267°S 15.283°E / -4.267; 15.283
Official languages French
Recognised nationwide languages [1]
Ethnic teams
Demonym(s) Congolese
Authorities Unitary dominant-party semi-presidential republic
Denis Sassou Nguesso
Clément Mouamba
Legislature Parliament
Nationwide Meeting

• Republic established

28 November 1958
15 August 1960

• Complete

342,000 km2 (132,000 sq mi) (64th)

• Water (%)


• 2018 estimate

5,244,359[3][4] (117th)

• Density

12.8/km2 (33.2/sq mi) (204th)
GDP (PPP) 2019 estimate

• Complete

$32.516 billion

• Per capita

GDP (nominal) 2019 estimate

• Complete

$11.162 billion

• Per capita

Gini (2011) 40.2[6]
HDI (2019) Decrease 0.574<[7]
medium · 149th
Foreign money Central African CFA franc (XAF)
Time zone UTC+1 (WAT)
Driving aspect proper
Calling code +242
ISO 3166 code CG
Web TLD .cg

The Republic of the Congo (About this soundpronunciation  French: République du Congo, Kituba: Repubilika ya Kôngo), often known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic[8][9] or just both Congo or the Congo is a rustic situated within the western coast of Central Africa. To the west lies Gabon; Cameroon to its northwest and the Central African Republic to its northeast; the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southeast and the Angolan exclave of Cabinda to its south; and the Atlantic Ocean to its southwest. The official language is French.

The area was dominated by Bantu-speaking tribes no less than 3,000 years in the past, who constructed commerce hyperlinks main into the Congo River basin. Congo was previously a part of the French colony of Equatorial Africa.[10] The Republic of the Congo was established on 28 November 1958 and gained independence from France in 1960. It was a Marxist–Leninist state from 1969 to 1992, beneath the title Individuals’s Republic of the Congo. The sovereign state has had multi-party elections since 1992, though a democratically elected authorities was ousted within the 1997 Republic of the Congo Civil Struggle, and President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who first got here to energy in 1979, has dominated for 35 of the previous 40 years.

The Republic of the Congo is a member of the African Union, the United Nations, La Francophonie, the Financial Neighborhood of Central African States, and the Non-Aligned Motion. It has turn into the fourth-largest oil producer within the Gulf of Guinea, offering the nation with a level of prosperity regardless of political and financial instability in some areas and unequal distribution of oil income nationwide. Congo’s economic system is closely depending on the oil sector, and financial development has slowed significantly because the post-2015 drop in oil costs. With a inhabitants of 5.2 million, 88.5% of the nation practices Christianity.


The nation’s title means “[Land beside] the Congo River”, adopted by the nation upon independence in 1960 from the earlier French autonomous colony Republic of the Congo (French: République du Congo) established in 1958, finally from the title of the unique French colony French Congo (Congo français) established in 1882. The river itself derived its title from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom which occupied its mouth across the time of its discovery by the Portuguese in 1483[11] or 1484[12] and whose title derived from its folks, the Bakongo, an endonym mentioned to imply “hunters” (Kongo: mukongo, nkongo).[13]

Different names are generally identified to because the French Congo, Center Congo and Congo (Brazzaville) with the latter inclusion of the nation’s capital to tell apart it from Congo (Léopoldville) or (Kinshasa) to its south. Brazzaville itself derives from the colony’s founder, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazzà, an Italian nobleman whose title referred to the city of Brazzacco, within the comune of Moruzzo, whose title derived from the Latin Brattius or Braccius, each which means “arm”.[14]

Historical past[edit]


Bantu-speaking peoples who based tribes through the Bantu expansions largely displaced and absorbed the earliest inhabitants of the area, the Pygmy folks, about 1500 BC. The Bakongo, a Bantu ethnic group that additionally occupied elements of present-day Angola, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, shaped the premise for ethnic affinities and rivalries amongst these international locations. A number of Bantu kingdoms—notably these of the Kongo, the Loango, and the Teke—constructed commerce hyperlinks main into the Congo River basin.[15]

The Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão reached the mouth of the Congo in 1484.[16] Business relationships rapidly grew between the inland Bantu kingdoms and European retailers who traded in varied commodities, manufactured items, and likewise folks captured and enslaved within the hinterlands. After centuries as a serious hub for transatlantic commerce, direct European colonization of the Congo river delta started within the late 19th century, subsequently eroding the ability of the Bantu societies within the area.[17]

French colonial period[edit]

The world north of the Congo River got here beneath French sovereignty in 1880 on account of Pierre de Brazza’s treaty with King Makoko[18] of the Bateke.[16] After the dying of Makoko, his widow Queen Ngalifourou upheld the phrases of the treaty and have become an necessary ally to the colonisers.[19] This Congo Colony grew to become identified first as French Congo, then as Center Congo in 1903.

In 1908, France organized French Equatorial Africa (AEF), comprising the Center Congo, Gabon, Chad, and Oubangui-Chari (the trendy Central African Republic). The French designated Brazzaville because the federal capital. Financial improvement through the first 50 years of colonial rule in Congo centered on natural-resource extraction. The strategies have been typically brutal: building of the Congo-Ocean Railway following World Struggle I has been estimated to have price no less than 14,000 lives.[16]

Through the Nazi occupation of France throughout World Struggle II, Brazzaville functioned because the symbolic capital of Free France between 1940 and 1943.[20] The Brazzaville Convention of 1944 heralded a interval of main reform in French colonial coverage. Congo benefited from the postwar enlargement of colonial administrative and infrastructure spending on account of its central geographic location inside AEF and the federal capital at Brazzaville.[15] It additionally had an area legislature after the adoption of the 1946 structure that established the Fourth Republic.

Following the revision of the French structure that established the Fifth Republic in 1958, the AEF dissolved into its constituent elements, every of which grew to become an autonomous colony throughout the French Neighborhood. Throughout these reforms, Center Congo grew to become referred to as the Republic of the Congo in 1958[21] and revealed its first structure in 1959.[22] Antagonism between the Mbochis (who favored Jacques Opangault) and the Laris and Kongos (who favored Fulbert Youlou, the primary black mayor elected in French Equatorial Africa) resulted in a sequence of riots in Brazzaville in February 1959, which the French Military subdued.[23]

New elections occurred in April 1959. By the point the Congo grew to become impartial in August 1960, Opangault, the previous opponent of Youlou, agreed to serve beneath him. Youlou grew to become the primary President of the Republic of the Congo.[24] Because the political rigidity was so excessive in Pointe-Noire, Youlou moved the capital to Brazzaville.

Submit-independence period[edit]

The Republic of the Congo grew to become totally impartial from France on 15 August 1960. Youlou dominated because the nation’s first president till labour parts and rival political events instigated a three-day rebellion that ousted him.[25] The Congolese army briefly took over the nation, and put in a civilian provisional authorities headed by Alphonse Massamba-Débat.

Below the 1963 structure, Massamba-Débat was elected President for a five-year time period.[15] Throughout Massamba-Débat’s time period in workplace the regime adopted “scientific socialism” because the nation’s constitutional ideology.[26] In 1965, Congo established relations with the Soviet Union, the Individuals’s Republic of China, North Korea and North Vietnam.[26] On the night time of February 14 to 15, 1965, three outstanding public officers of the Republic of the Congo have been kidnapped: Lazare Matsocota (prosecutor of the Republic), Joseph Pouabou (president of the Supreme Court docket) and Massouémé Anselme (director of the Congolese Data Company). The our bodies of two of those males have been later discovered, mutilated, by the Congo River.[27][28] Massamba-Débat’s regime additionally invited a number of hundred Cuban military troops into the nation to coach his celebration’s militia models and these troops helped his authorities survive a coup d’état in 1966 led by paratroopers loyal to future President Marien Ngouabi. However, Massamba-Débat was unable to reconcile varied institutional, tribal and ideological factions throughout the nation[26] and his regime ended abruptly with a cold coup in September 1968.

Marie Ngouabi, who had participated within the coup, assumed the presidency on 31 December 1968. One 12 months later, Ngouabi proclaimed the Congo Africa’s first “folks’s republic”, the Individuals’s Republic of the Congo, and introduced the choice of the Nationwide Revolutionary Motion to alter its title to the Congolese Labour Get together (PCT). He survived an tried coup in 1972 however was assassinated on 16 March 1977. An 11-member Army Committee of the Get together (CMP) was then named to go an interim authorities, with Joachim Yhombi-Opango serving as president. Two years later, Yhombi-Opango was pressured from energy and Denis Sassou Nguesso turn into the brand new president.[15]

Sassou Nguesso aligned the nation with the Japanese Bloc and signed a twenty-year friendship pact with the Soviet Union. Over time, Sassou needed to rely extra on political repression and fewer on patronage to take care of his dictatorship.[29]

Pascal Lissouba, who grew to become Congo’s first elected president (1992–1997) through the interval of multi-party democracy, tried to implement financial reforms with IMF backing to liberalize the economic system. In June 1996, the IMF accredited a three-year SDR69.5m (US$100m) enhanced structural adjustment facility (ESAF) and was on the verge of saying a renewed annual settlement when civil warfare broke out in Congo in mid-1997.[30]

Congo’s democratic progress was derailed in 1997, when Lissouba and Sassou began to combat for energy within the civil warfare. As presidential elections scheduled for July 1997 approached, tensions between the Lissouba and Sassou camps mounted. On 5 June, President Lissouba’s authorities forces surrounded Sassou’s compound in Brazzaville and Sassou ordered members of his personal militia (referred to as “Cobras”) to withstand. Thus started a four-month battle that destroyed or broken a lot of Brazzaville and prompted tens of 1000’s of civilian deaths. In early October, the Angolan authorities started an invasion of Congo to put in Sassou in energy. In mid-October, the Lissouba authorities fell. Quickly thereafter, Sassou declared himself president.[15]

A professional-constitutional reform rally in Brazzaville throughout October 2015. The structure’s controversial reforms have been subsequently accredited in a disputed election which noticed demonstrations and violence.

Within the controversial elections in 2002, Sassou gained with nearly 90% of the vote solid. His two predominant rivals, Lissouba and Bernard Kolelas, have been prevented from competing and the one remaining credible rival, André Milongo, suggested his supporters to boycott the elections after which withdrew from the race.[31] A brand new structure, agreed upon by referendum in January 2002, granted the president new powers, prolonged his time period to seven years, and launched a brand new bicameral meeting. Worldwide observers took concern with the group of the presidential election and the constitutional referendum, each of which have been reminiscent of their group of Congo’s period of the one-party state.[32] Following the presidential elections, combating restarted within the Pool area between authorities forces and rebels led by Pastor Ntumi; a peace treaty to finish the battle was signed in April 2003.[33]

Sassou additionally gained the next presidential election in July 2009.[34] Based on the Congolese Observatory of Human Rights, a non-governmental group, the election was marked by “very low” turnout and “fraud and irregularities”.[35] In March 2015 Sassou introduced that he wished to run for one more time period in workplace and a constitutional referendum in October resulted in a modified structure which allowed him to run through the 2016 presidential election. He gained the election believed by many to be fraudulent. After violent protests within the capital, Sassou attacked the Pool area, the place the Ninja rebels of the civil warfare was primarily based, in what was believed to be a distraction. This led to a revival of the Ninja rebels who launched assaults towards the military in April 2016, main 80,000 folks to flee their houses. A ceasefire deal was signed in December 2017.[36]


Congo-Brazzaville has had a multi-party political system because the early 1990s, though the system is closely dominated by President Denis Sassou Nguesso; he has lacked critical competitors within the presidential elections held beneath his rule. Sassou Nguesso is backed by his personal Congolese Labour Get together (French: Parti Congolais du Travail) in addition to a spread of smaller events.

Sassou’s regime has seen many corruption revelations regardless of makes an attempt to censor them. One French investigation discovered over 110 financial institution accounts and dozens of lavish properties in France.[37] Sassou denounced embezzlement investigations as “racist” and “colonial”.[38][39][40] Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso, son of Denis Sassou Nguesso, has been named in affiliation with the Panama Papers.[41]

On 27 March 2015, Sassou Nguesso introduced that his authorities would maintain a referendum on altering the nation’s 2002 structure to permit him to run for a 3rd consecutive time period in workplace.[42] On 25 October the federal government held a referendum on permitting Sassou Nguesso to run within the subsequent election. The federal government claimed that the proposal was accredited by 92% of voters, with 72% of eligible voters taking part. The opposition, who boycotted the referendum, mentioned that the federal government’s statistics have been false and the vote was a faux one.[43]

The election raised questions and was accompanied by civil unrest and police shootings of protesters;[44] no less than 18 folks have been killed by safety forces throughout opposition rallies main as much as the referendum held in October.


In 2008, the first media have been owned by the federal government, however privately run types of media have been being created. There’s one government-owned tv station and round 10 small personal tv channels.

Human rights[edit]

Many Pygmies belong from delivery to Bantus in a relationship many consult with as slavery.[45][46] The Congolese Human Rights Observatory says that the Pygmies are handled as property in the identical manner as pets.[45] On 30 December 2010, the Congolese parliament adopted a regulation for to advertise and defend the rights of indigenous peoples.[clarification needed] This regulation is the primary of its type in Africa, and its adoption is a historic improvement for indigenous peoples on the continent.[47][needs update]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Map of the Republic of the Congo exhibiting its twelve departments.

The Republic of the Congo is split into 12 départements (departments). Departments are divided into communes and districts.[48]
These are:

Geography and local weather[edit]

Congo is situated within the central-western a part of sub-Saharan Africa, alongside the Equator, mendacity between latitudes 4°N and 5°S, and longitudes 11° and 19°E. To the south and east of it’s the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is usually bounded by Gabon to the west, Cameroon and the Central African Republic to the north, and Cabinda (Angola) to the southwest. It has a brief coast on the Atlantic Ocean.

The capital, Brazzaville, is situated on the Congo River, within the south of the nation, instantly throughout from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The southwest of the nation is a coastal plain for which the first drainage is the Kouilou-Niari River; the inside of the nation consists of a central plateau between two basins to the south and north. Forests are beneath rising exploitation stress.[49] Congo had a 2018 Forest Panorama Integrity Index imply rating of 8.89/10, rating it 12th globally out of 172 international locations.[50]

Congo lies inside 4 terrestrial ecoregions: Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests, Northwestern Congolian lowland forests, Western Congolian swamp forests, and Western Congolian forest-savanna mosaic.[51] Because the nation is situated on the Equator, the local weather is constant year-round, with the common day temperature a moist 24 °C (75 °F) and nights usually between 16 °C (61 °F) and 21 °C (70 °F). The typical yearly rainfall ranges from 1,100 millimetres (43 in) within the Niari Valley within the south to over 2,000 millimetres (79 in) in central elements of the nation. The dry season is from June to August, whereas within the majority of the nation the moist season has two rainfall maxima: one in March–Could and one other in September–November.[52]

In 2006–07, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society studied gorillas in closely forested areas centered on the Ouesso district of the Sangha Area. They counsel a inhabitants on the order of 125,000 western lowland gorillas, whose isolation from people has been largely preserved by inhospitable swamps.[53]

Financial system[edit]

Cassava is a crucial meals crop within the Republic of the Congo.

The economic system is a mix of village agriculture and handicrafts, an industrial sector primarily based largely on petroleum,[54] assist providers, and a authorities characterised by price range issues and overstaffing. Petroleum extraction has supplanted forestry because the mainstay of the economic system. In 2008, the oil sector accounted for 65% of the GDP, 85% of presidency income, and 92% of exports.[55] The nation additionally has giant untapped mineral wealth.

Within the early 1980s, quickly rising oil revenues enabled the federal government to finance large-scale improvement initiatives. GDP grew a median 5% yearly, one of many highest charges in Africa. The federal government has mortgaged a considerable portion of its petroleum earnings, contributing to a scarcity of revenues. On 12 January 1994 devaluation of Franc Zone currencies by 50% resulted in inflation of 46% in 1994, however inflation has subsided since.[56]

Younger girls studying to stitch, Brazzaville

Financial reform efforts continued with the assist of worldwide organizations, notably the World Financial institution and the Worldwide Financial Fund. The reform program got here to a halt in June 1997 when civil warfare erupted. When Sassou Nguesso returned to energy on the finish of the warfare in October 1997, he publicly expressed curiosity in transferring ahead on financial reforms and privatization and in renewing cooperation with worldwide monetary establishments. Nonetheless, financial progress was badly damage by slumping oil costs and the resumption of armed battle in December 1998, which worsened the republic’s price range deficit.

The present administration presides over an uneasy inner peace and faces tough financial issues of stimulating restoration and lowering poverty, regardless of record-high oil costs since 2003. Pure gasoline and diamonds are additionally latest main Congolese exports, though Congo was excluded from the Kimberley Course of in 2004 amid allegations that almost all of its diamond exports have been in actual fact being smuggled out of the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo; it was re-admitted to the group in 2007.[57][58]

The Republic of the Congo additionally has giant untapped base metallic, gold, iron and phosphate deposits.[59] The nation is a member of the Group for the Harmonization of Enterprise Regulation in Africa (OHADA).[60] The Congolese authorities signed an settlement in 2009 to lease 200,000 hectares of land to South African farmers to cut back its dependence on imports.[61][62]

The GDP of the Republic of the Congo grew by 6% in 2014 and is anticipated to have grown by 7.5% in 2015.[63][64]

In 2018, the Republic of the Congo joined the Group of Petroleum Exporting Nations.[65]


Transport within the Republic of the Congo consists of land, air and water transportation. The nation’s rail system was constructed by pressured laborers through the 1930s and largely stays in operation. There are additionally over 1000 km of paved roads and two main worldwide airports (Maya-Maya Airport and Pointe-Noire Airport) which have flights to locations in Europe, Africa, and the Center East. The nation additionally has a big port on the Atlantic Ocean at Pointe-Noire and others alongside the Congo River at Brazzaville and Impfondo.


12 months Million
1950 0.8
2000 3.2
2018 5.2

The Republic of the Congo’s sparse inhabitants is concentrated within the southwestern portion of the nation, leaving the huge areas of tropical jungle within the north nearly uninhabited. Thus, Congo is without doubt one of the most urbanized international locations in Africa, with 70% of its complete inhabitants dwelling in a couple of city areas, specifically in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire or one of many small cities or villages lining the 534-kilometre (332 mi) railway which connects the 2 cities. In rural areas, industrial and business exercise has declined quickly in recent times, leaving rural economies depending on the federal government for assist and subsistence.[67]

Ethnically and linguistically the inhabitants of the Republic of the Congo is various—Ethnologue recognises 62 spoken languages within the nation[68]—however may be grouped into three classes. The Kongo are the biggest ethnic group and kind roughly half of the inhabitants. Probably the most vital subgroups of the Kongo are Laari, in Brazzaville and Pool areas, and the Vili, round Pointe-Noire and alongside the Atlantic coast. The second largest group are the Teke, who dwell to the north of Brazzaville, with 17% of the inhabitants. Boulangui (M’Boshi) dwell within the northwest and in Brazzaville and kind 12% of the inhabitants.[69][70]Pygmies make up 2% of Congo’s inhabitants.[71]

Earlier than the 1997 warfare, about 9,000 Europeans and different non-Africans lived in Congo, most of whom have been French; solely a fraction of this quantity stays.[67] Round 300 American expatriates reside within the Congo.[67]

Based on CIA World Factbook, the folks of the Republic of the Congo are largely a mixture of Catholics (33.1%), Awakening Lutherans (22.3%) and different Protestants (19.9%). Followers of Islam make up 1.6%; that is primarily on account of an inflow of international employees into the city facilities.[10]

Based on a 2011–12 survey, complete fertility fee was 5.1 youngsters born per girl, with 4.5 in city areas and 6.5 in rural areas.[72]

Well being[edit]

Public expenditure well being was at 8.9% of the GDP in 2004, whereas personal expenditure was at 1.3%.[73]
As of 2012, the HIV/AIDS prevalence was at 2.8% amongst 15- to 49-year-olds.[10] Well being expenditure was at US$30 per capita in 2004.[73] A big proportion of the inhabitants is undernourished,[73] and malnutrition an issue in Congo-Brazzaville.[74] There have been 20 physicians per 100,000 individuals within the early 2000s (decade).[73]

As of 2010, the maternal mortality fee was 560 deaths/100,000 dwell births, and the toddler mortality fee was 59.34 deaths/1,000 dwell births.[10]Feminine genital mutilation (FGM) is uncommon within the nation, being confined to restricted geographic areas of the nation.[75]

Cultural heritage[edit]

The Republic of the Congo has all kinds of pure landscapes, starting from the savanna plains within the North Niari flooded forests, to the huge Congo River, to rugged mountains and forest of Mayombe, and together with 170 km of seashores alongside the Atlantic coast.[76] The quite a few ethnic teams, types of artwork, and political constructions categorical a wealthy cultural range and

Among the many finest identified are Vili nail fetishes, Beembe statuettes which can be filled with expression; the masks of the Punu and Kwele, Kota reliquaries, Teke fetishes, and cemeteries with monumental tombs are examples of this selection. The Lari folks even have distinctive artifacts.

The Republic of the Congo additionally has appreciable colonial architectural heritage, which it’s preserving. Restoration of architectural works is underway in Brazzaville, for instance on the Basilica of Sainte-Anne du Congo, which was accomplished in 2011.[77]

Due to issues with the communications community, the nation isn’t able to construct on heritage tourism. It’s working to enhance the community that helps its resorts and associated tourism services in Pointe Noire and Brazzaville. Many websites are tough to succeed in in overland visits. A few of the South’s most populous and developed areas are sometimes the least accessible. For instance, the large Chaillu Mountains are nearly unimaginable to go to.


Congolese singers have turn into identified internationally: the Franco-Congolese rapper Passi’s work is broadcast in France, and he has launched a number of hit albums, reminiscent of Temptations, with the well-known music “I zap and I mate.” Different notable musicians embrace M’Passi [fr], singer of the previous group Melgroove [fr]; rappers Calbo of Ärsenik, Ben J [fr] of Nèg’ Marrons [fr], Mystic, RCFA, the group Bisso Na Bisso and Casimir Zao [fr].

A number of writers from the Republic of Congo have turn into recognised elsewhere in Africa and the French-speaking world, together with Alain Mabanckou, Jean-Baptiste Tati Loutard, Jeannette Balou Tchichelle, Henri Lopes, Lassy Mbouity, and Tchicaya U Tam’si.

Artists have struggled to construct a movie business. After a promising begin within the 1970s, the troubled political scenario closed cinemas and made movie manufacturing tough. As an alternative of creating function movies for distribution to theaters, filmmakers usually straight stream their video productions on the web.

Congolese tradition, artwork, and media have suffered from an absence of funding because of the unstable political situations and warfare.


Faculty youngsters within the classroom, Republic of the Congo

Public expenditure of the GDP was much less in 2002–05 than in 1991.[73] Public training is theoretically free and obligatory for under-16-year-olds[78] however, in follow, bills exist.[78] In 2005 internet main enrollment fee was 44%, a major drop from the 79% in 1991.[73] Schooling between ages six and sixteen is obligatory. Pupils who full six years of main faculty and 7 years of secondary faculty get hold of a baccalaureate.

The nation has universities the place college students can get hold of a bachelor’s diploma in three years and a grasp’s in 5. Marien Ngouabi College—which affords programs in drugs, regulation, and different fields—is the nation’s solely public college.

Instruction in any respect ranges is in French, and the academic system as an entire fashions the French system.

See additionally[edit]


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