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Congo, Republic of the (2002)

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Congo, Republic of the 2002 year

 Congo, Republic of the
Administrative divisions 9 regions (regions, singular - region) and 1 commune*; Bouenza, Brazzaville*, Cuvette, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pool, Sangha
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.)
Agriculture - products cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
Airports 33 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways total: 4

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 27

1,524 to 2,437 m: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 10

under 914 m: 11 (2002)
Area total: 342,000 sq km

land: 341,500 sq km

water: 500 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Montana
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.
Birth rate 37.91 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Budget revenues: $870 million

expenditures: $970 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)
Capital Brazzaville
Climate tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); constantly high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
Coastline 169 km
Constitution constitution approved by referendum in January 2002
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
Currency Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Death rate 16.1 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Debt - external $5 billion (1999 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Robin R. SANDERS

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)
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
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)
Economic aid - recipient $159.1 million (1995) (1995)
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.
Electricity - consumption 406.9 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 126 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 302 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 1%

hydro: 99%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m
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
Ethnic groups Kongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%

note: Europeans estimated at 8,500, mostly French, before the 1997 civil war; may be half that in 1998, following the widespread destruction of foreign businesses in 1997
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
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 seven-year term); election last held 10 March 2002 (next to be held NA 2009)

election results: Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO reelected president; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO 89.4%, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia MBOUNGOU 2.7%
Exports 0 kWh (1999)
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% (2000)
Fiscal year calendar year
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
GDP purchasing power parity - $2.5 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 10%

industry: 48%

services: 42% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $900 (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 4.2% (2001 est.)
Geographic coordinates 1 00 S, 15 00 E
Geography - note about 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
Highways total: 12,800 km

paved: 1,242 km

unpaved: 11,558 km (1996)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Imports 126 million kWh (1999)
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% (2000)
Independence 15 August 1960 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
Infant mortality rate 97.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3% (2001 est.)
International organization participation ACCT, ACP, AfDB, BDEAC, CCC, CEEAC, CEMAC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2000)
Irrigated land 10 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Cour Supreme
Labor force NA
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
Land use arable land: 0.5%

permanent crops: 0.13%

other: 99.37% (1998 est.)
Languages French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo has the most users)
Legal system based on French civil law system and customary law
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 NA July 2007); National Assembly - last held 27 May and 26 June 2002 (next to be held by NA 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
Life expectancy at birth total population: 47.71 years

male: 44.27 years

female: 51.24 years (2002 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 74.9%

male: 83.1%

female: 67.2% (1995 est.)
Location Western Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
Map references Africa
Maritime claims territorial sea: 200 NM
Military branches Army, Air Force, Navy, Gendarmerie, National Police
Military expenditures - dollar figure $84 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.8% (FY01)
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 - military age 20 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 32,350 (2002 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 15 August (1960)
Nationality noun: Congolese (singular and plural)

adjective: Congolese or Congo
Natural hazards seasonal flooding
Natural resources petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, natural gas, hydropower
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Pipelines crude oil 25 km
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 or UDR [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
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.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 2.18% (2002 est.)
Ports and harbors Brazzaville, Impfondo, Ouesso, Oyo, Pointe-Noire
Radio broadcast stations AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 3 (2001)
Radios 341,000 (1997)
Railways total: 894 km

narrow gauge: 894 km 1.067-m gauge (2000 est.)
Religions Christian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2%
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.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
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)
Telephones - main lines in use 22,000 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 3,300 (1998)
Television broadcast stations 1 (2002)
Terrain coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
Total fertility rate 4.94 children born/woman (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
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
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