Republic of the Congo
|République du Congo (French)
Republiki ya Kongó (Lingala)
Répubilika ya Kongo (Kituba)
|Republic of the Congo|
Motto : "Unité, Travail, Progrès"
German : "Unity, Work, Progress"
alongside Lingála and Kituba as national lingua franca
|Form of government||republic|
|Government system||Presidential system|
|Head of state||
|Head of government||Clement Mouamba|
|population||4,954,674 (July 2017 data)|
|Population density||14.5 inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+ 2.06% (2016)|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.592 ( 135th ) (2016)|
|currency||CFA franc BEAC (XAF)|
|independence||August 15, 1960
(from France )
|National anthem||La Congolaise|
|Time zone||UTC + 1|
|ISO 3166||CG , COG, 178|
The Republic of the Congo ( Eng . [ ˈKʰɔŋgo ], French. [ Kɔ̃ˈgo ], until 1960 Central Congo , 1969 to 1991 People's Republic of the Congo ) is a republic in Central Africa . Your capital and largest metropolitan area in front of the port city of Pointe-Noire is Brazzaville ; the country is also known as the Congo-Brazzaville .
The state borders Gabon , Cameroon , the Central African Republic , the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly the Belgian Congo or Zaire ), the Angolan exclave of Cabinda, and the Atlantic Ocean . In the Human Development Index, it ranks 138th out of 189 (as of 2019) .
The name of the Republic of the Congo has changed several times in the past, at times the country used the same official name as the neighboring state, the Democratic Republic of the Congo . The following table gives an overview of the historical names:
|Historical naming of the territories of the Congo|
|former Belgian colony||former French colony (A)||former Portuguese protectorate|
|1877 colonized||1880 colonized (G)||
|from 1885 Congo Free State||from 1903 Central Congo|
from 1908 Belgian Congo
||1910 French Congo|
|from 1958 Republic of the Congo||
under joint administration with Angola
|June 30, 1960 independence||August 15, 1960 independence|
1960 Republic of the Congo (called Congo-Léopoldville )
1960 Proclamation of the Free Republic of Congo by lumumbist insurgents
(recognized by 26 states, after about a year smashed by government troops)
1960 Congolese Republic
(called Congo-Brazzaville )
1961 Federal Republic of the Congo (called Congo-Léopoldville )  , 
1964 Proclamation of the People's Republic of the Congo by insurgents in Stanleyville
(only recognized by 7 states, smashed by government troops after a few months)
|1964 Democratic Republic of the Congo (called Congo-Léopoldville ) ||
1965 Republic of the Congo
(called Congo-Brazzaville )
|1966 Democratic Republic of the Congo (called Congo-Kinshasa )|
|1971 Republic of Zaire||
1969 People's Republic of the Congo
occupied by Angola
draft constitution of the National Sovereign Conference suspended by Mobutu
since 1997 Democratic Republic of the Congo
since 1991 Republic of the Congo
since 1975 Cabinda ,
province ( exclave ) of Angola
The Republic of the Congo is located in the extreme northwest of the Congo Basin and is bounded in the east and south-east by the Congo River and its tributary Ubangi . The capital Brazzaville is located on the Malebo pool , a lake-like extension of the Congo. Kinshasa , the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo , is on the opposite bank.
The Republic of the Congo stretches on both sides of the equator and therefore has a tropical climate. The two rainy seasons occur from January to May and October to mid-December. The annual precipitation is 1400 mm to 1900 mm, less on the coast. After the narrow coastal plain with mangrove vegetation and wet savannah, the country rises to a high plateau that rises to an altitude of 1040 m on the border with Gabon . The largest part of the country with 57.2 percent is covered by tropical rainforest . In the northeast, at the lower Ubangi and Sangha , there are extensive swamps. The Congo is only navigable above the Malebo Pool.
The Republic of the Congo has almost five million inhabitants with an average age of 19.7 years (as of 2017). The population density is low with eleven inhabitants per km². The inhabitants of the Republic of the Congo are known as the Congolese.
According to the UN's average population forecast, a population of over 11 million is expected for the year 2050.
98 percent of the Congolese see themselves as Bantus . Half of the population are the eponymous Congo, of which more than 40 percent are Bakongo and Vili or Bavili (on the Atlantic). A quarter are Batéké with six percent and Bavili. Of the remaining quarter, the Mboschi make up the largest share with twelve percent and the Kuyu with eleven percent. Only one percent are pygmies - mainly in the forest and swamp areas of the northeast, there are also few Europeans .
In 2017, 7.6% of the population was born abroad. The largest group came from the neighboring DR Congo with 170,000 people. Foreigners are either refugees or are attracted by the comparatively high income level.
Is French - a legacy of the colonial period - official language, next are the Republic of Congo Constitution the working languages Lingala and Kituba as "national lingua franca" recognized. Lingala is most widespread in the north, which is spoken by half of the total population. Kituba, on the other hand, also known as Kongo ya Leta , is mainly spoken by the Bakongo in the south of the country, but also serves as a lingua franca . The most important languages of the individual ethnic groups are conventional Kikongo as well as Mbosi , Koyo and Teke .
The majority of the total population of the Republic of the Congo belongs to Christianity (thereof about 33.1 percent Catholics , 22.3 percent followers of the Awakening Churches / Christian rebirth , 19.9 percent Protestants , 2.2 percent Salvationists , about 1.5 percent Kimbanguists , as well as New Apostolic Christians). Another large part of the population believes in traditional religions and around 1.6 percent are now made up of smaller Muslim communities. 11.3 percent of the population are non-denominational.
Many of the country's residents can read and write, especially men. In 2015, the literacy rate was 79.3% of the adult population. The share of public expenditure on education in GDP in the period from 2002 to 2005 was lower than in 1991. Schooling is free and compulsory for children under 16 years of age. In practice, however, there are exceptions for students. The country has a state university, the Université Marien Ngouabi (UMNG) in Brazzaville, a private university, also in Brazzaville ( Université libre du Congo ), and in Pointe Noire a campus of the Institut Supérieur de Technologie d'Afrique Centrale of the Université Catholique de l'Afrique Central (UCAC), which has its headquarters in Yaoundé / Cameroon . In Brazzaville there is also a branch of the Moroccan École supérieure de technologie (a higher technical school) and in Pointe Noire such a school for maritime technology. Brazzaville also has two management schools. Probably also because of the lack of teaching staff, the responsible ministry closed the master’s courses at private universities in 2013.
In 2004 public health expenditure amounted to 1.2 percent of the gross domestic product, private health expenditure 1.3 percent. Health care spending in 2004 was US $ 30 per capita. A large proportion of the population is malnourished. The Republic of the Congo had 20 doctors per 100,000 population in the early 2000s. Life expectancy in the period from 2010 to 2015 was 62.6 years (men: 61.0 years, women: 64.1 years).
Life expectancy development in the Republic of the Congo
|Period||Life expectancy||Period||Life expectancy|
1950 the first magazine for politics and culture was founded in Brazzaville ( Liaison ). a. also published evidence of oral culture. Today in the Republic of the Congo there is a relatively developed literary and theater scene, especially in Brazzaville, but also in Pointe Noire, which is shaped by the French realists and the Nouveau Roman as well as by folk traditions, fairy tales, surrealism and magic. In his novels Demain j'aurais vingt ans and Les cigognes sont immortelles, the author Alain Mabanckou tells of a youth in Pointe Noire against the background of the country's recent history. The theater in particular ties in with village narrative traditions. To name are u. a. the collaborator of the liaison and playwright Sylvain Bemba , the chemist and novelist Emmanuel Dongala (* 1941), who now lives in the USA ( group photo on the bank of the river ) and the former prime minister and novelist Henri Lopès , a critic of the Négritude ( Tribaliques , 1971 ).
In the multicultural Poto-Poto district of Brazzaville, which was populated by migrant workers from the north at the beginning of the 20th century, its own painting tradition has developed (Marcel Gotène, Eugène Malonga, Jacques Zigoma). Brazzaville had a sophisticated art ceramics tradition, but it has largely been forgotten. The state art national museum has been closed for years, but has an extensive depot of valuable anthropological objects and contemporary paintings. Traditional themes dominate music and dance. Gestures and facial expressions facilitate the understanding of language in a multicultural environment.
Batéké and other Bantu tribes who had immigrated from Nigeria had settled in the lower Congo Basin since the 10th century . Various kingdoms emerged there in the 13th century, but most of them were destroyed by the slave trade from the 17th and 18th centuries at the mouth of the Congo. The French mission began in 1766 , and Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza began exploring the country in 1875 . Around 1880, the Teke der Batéké empire became a French protectorate through a so-called protection treaty . A military post was soon established in the Congo, from which the city of Brazzaville emerged. Pointe Noire was founded in 1883. Around 1891 the empire became the French colony of the Congo (from 1903 called "Central Congo" - "Moyen Congo"). In 1910, it was declared General Government of French Equatorial Africa , together with Gabon . Brazzaville had a population of around 6,000 at that time, but it grew rapidly due to the influx of migrant workers who came from Chad and Dahomey . This created a colorful mix of peoples and languages in Brazzaville. In 1911 the northern part of the colony went to German Cameroon , after the First World War the area was reorganized.
In 1946 the Congo became French overseas territory. According to the Loi Lamine Guèye law of May 7, 1946, all citizens of the overseas territories had the same citizenship as the people in the mother country and thus the right to vote for elections to the French parliament and for local elections; the right to stand for election is not explicitly mentioned, but it is also not excluded. But it was chosen in two classes, which gave the French population an advantage. This two-class suffrage was only abolished on June 23, 1956 by the loi-cadre Defferre and confirmed upon independence.
The law number 47-162 on territorial assemblies of August 29, 1947 established the right to vote for these assemblies. At first, universal suffrage at the national level was restricted to Europeans and Africans who could read and write. In 1951, the right was extended to anyone with a valid ID. This electoral system was renewed in 1952 and replaced in 1957 when the 1956 loi-cadre Defferre came into force.
In 1958 the Congo became an autonomous republic in the Union française and finally in 1960 the independent Congolese Republic (Congo-Brazzaville) (in contrast to the then Republic of Congo (Congo-Leopoldville) , today's Democratic Republic of the Congo on the left bank of the river). The capital then had around 100,000 inhabitants, around 400,000 around 1980. Article 4 of the Constitution of March 2, 1961 recognized the rights that already existed. Some sources cite December 8, 1963 for the granting of the passive women's right to vote. Since women were first elected to parliament in December 1963, however, it is possible that this information is based on the first exercise of the right to vote, not the grant.
In August 1963 the pro-French regime of the priest Fulbert Youlou was overthrown and a policy of moderate socialism was proclaimed. On December 31, 1969, Marien Ngouabi proclaimed the People's Republic of the Congo , which was ruled by the Parti Congolais du Travail .
Ngouabi was murdered in 1977. In 1979 Denis Sassou-Nguesso restored the People's Republic. 1982 began projects for the socialist restructuring of the economy and agriculture as well as for the development of the poorly developed north of the country and for the intensification of the oil production .
In 1990, after the support of the socialist states ceased to exist, the turn away from socialism began and in 1991 the "Republic of the Congo" was finally proclaimed. It was not until 1992 that there were real democratic elections in which Sassou-Nguesso was defeated by Pascal Lissouba. From 1997 to 1999, however, a crippling civil war raged , which ended with the victory of the so-called Cobra militias of Denis Sassou-Nguesso, who had returned from French exile, over the militias of incumbent President Pascal Lissouba and the former presidential candidate Bernard Kolelas, who lost in 1992. Since then, Sassou-Nguesso has been in power as president of the country without interruption.
According to the constitution adopted by referendum of January 20, 2002 and which came into force on August 9, 2002, the form of government is that of a presidential republic . The form of government is a bicameral parliament, consisting of a national assembly and a senate . The National Assembly has 137 members elected for five years; the 66 senators are elected for six years. The most influential party is the PCT ( French Parti congolais du travail , translated Congolese Party of Labor ). In the 2019 Democracy Index of the British magazine The Economist, the Republic of the Congo ranks 134th out of 167 countries, making it one of the authoritarian states. In the country report Freedom in the World 2017 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as “not free”. After the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International , the Republic of Congo in 2017 was of 180 countries on the 161st place, with 21 out of a maximum 100 points.
The head of state is the president, who is also the head of government and commander-in-chief of the armed forces . He is elected by the people with an absolute majority for seven years, one re-election was possible. On October 25, 2015, the constitution was changed by referendum; Since then, the current ruler Denis Sassou-Nguesso can run again.
In 2006 and 2007, the Republic of the Congo had a seat on the United Nations Security Council .
After the civil war in the Republic of the Congo , Sassou-Nguesso's militias formed the backbone of the country's new army from 1999 onwards. In 2017, the country spent almost 6.2 percent of its economic output, or 484 million US dollars, on its armed forces. The share of military spending in total government spending is 17.9 percent and is therefore very high.
The 10,000 men of the Congolese Armed Forces ( Forces Armees Congolaises , FAC) comprise the armed forces of the
Despite extensive resources of oil , tropical rainforest and agriculturally usable areas as well as the low population density, the economy is still characterized by mass unemployment and poor conditions of government, administrative and transport structures, as well as a high demand for food imports. Corruption is a major cause here . In addition, the three civil wars of the 1990s caused material damage of an estimated two to three billion euros.
The state used to be the country's largest employer with 80,000 employees. The World Bank and other international financial institutions forced the Republic of Congo to initiate reforms in this area in order to reduce the bureaucracy, which in 1993 devoured more than a fifth of the gross domestic product.
The end of the turmoil of the civil war was also the prerequisite for positive economic development. It was boosted by the government's € 780 million post-war reconstruction program, which was largely self-financed but also supported by the World Bank.
Nevertheless, the population was prevented from participating in the country's wealth of resources due to the unprofessional handling of state finances and widespread corruption . 54 percent lived in absolute poverty in 2014. The unemployment rate in the same year is given as 36%.
The efforts to increase diversification have so far not been very successful. One focus was on expanding the sustainable forestry that was already being carried out on a large scale. It is the second most important industry in the country, but in 2014 timber exports only made up around 2% of total exports. Other branches of industry are the textile, cement and chemical industries.
The gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017 is estimated at 26.4 billion US dollars. In purchasing power parity, the GDP is 28.9 billion US dollars or 6600 US dollars per inhabitant. This makes the Republic of the Congo one of the richer countries in Africa and has a GDP per capita almost ten times higher than in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, wealth is extremely unevenly distributed and the real standard of living is hardly higher than in neighboring countries. Due to the fall in raw material prices, economic output fell by 4.6% in 2017 and the national debt is now around 120% of GDP.
All GDP values are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).
(purchasing power parity)
|3.13 billion||4.55 billion||8.29 billion||9.57 billion||11.72 billion||16.06 billion||17.59 billion||17.77 billion||19.13 billion||20.78 billion||22.87 billion||24.14 billion||25.52 billion||26.78 billion||29.13 billion||30.22 billion||29.74 billion||28.88 billion|
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
(as a percentage of GDP)
The promotion of productive agriculture in particular is a bottleneck. Agriculture employs 40 percent of the active population, but only contributes eight percent to the economy as a whole and by far does not meet the need for food. To meet the food needs of the population, around 70 percent of the food had to be imported in 2014, mainly wheat, rice and maize.
For the self-sufficiency especially are cassava , corn , peanuts , yam and plantains grown, low for the export volumes of coffee , cocoa and sugar cane . The share of livestock farming is insignificant mainly because of the tsetse fly .
The most important source of income for the state has been the extraction, processing and export of oil since the 1980s. Over 90 percent of export revenues, 80 percent of state income and 65 percent of gross domestic product come from this business . This branch of industry was largely spared from the civil war. The growth since about 2006 has been based solely on the oil industry, so that the country's dependence on oil has not decreased in the last 10 years. In 2014, the Republic of the Congo was the fourth largest sub-Saharan oil producer. The oil is promoted by Total and ENI , and increasingly also by Chinese companies. On June 22, 2018, the country became a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The deposits of potash salts , iron and copper ores , gold , diamonds , phosphate , bauxite and other mineral resources have so far been little used. In 2004, a project was planned to mine and process 60,000 tons of magnesium per year, which has not yet been implemented in 2014.
The largest foreign trade partners are the United States , South Korea and the People's Republic of China . After a record increase in previous years, the export surplus fell again in 2003, but the balance is positive at 1.5 billion euros, as it has been for years. In 2010 the country was completely canceled its debts by the international creditors.
The country is a member of the Economic Community of Central African States and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community . The national currency, the CFA franc , is linked to the euro via the French vault with a fixed exchange rate of 1 to 656. The Republic of the Congo is also a member of the Organization for the Approximation of Commercial Law in Africa (OHADA).
The state budget included expenditures in 2016 of the equivalent of 4.233 billion US dollars , which were income equivalent to 3.562 billion US dollar against. This results in a budget deficit of 8.4 percent of GDP . The national debt in 2016 was 83.0% of economic output.
The share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) in the following areas was:
From Brazzaville to Pointe-Noire, the 510 km stretch of the Congo-Ocean Railway ( Chemin de fer Congo-Océan , CFCO), which was built by forced laborers in 1921–1934 under inhumane conditions, runs. A branch line leads to Mbinda on the border with Gabon. The entire route is in poor condition. Several serious accidents have occurred in the past 25 years. The railway line is to be extended by a Korean consortium by 1000 km to the north in order to facilitate the transport of timber to the port of Pointe-Noire.
The Republic of the Congo has two international airports in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. All airlines registered in the Republic of the Congo except for ECAir are on the EU's black list, ECAir has ceased operations.
The entire road network in 2006 comprised around 17,000 km, of which 1212 km are asphalted. The road network is in poor condition, especially in the rainy season. On Route Nationale 1 between Pointe Noire and Brazzaville there is "intensive heavy goods vehicle traffic with trucks that are not completely safe to drive on largely unpaved road sections".
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