Republic of the Congo Overview
|Republique du Congo
|Form of government
||Central African Franc
|Telephone area code
The Republic of the Congo (R¨¦publique du Congo) is
located in western Equatorial Africa and, with an area
of 342,000 km², is about the size of Germany. The
country borders the Central African Republic in the
north, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the east
and southeast , Angola in the southwest ,Gabon and the
Atlantic Ocean in the west and Cameroon in the northwest
. The country takes its name from the Congo River
(African: Zaire), which forms the border with the
Democratic Republic of the Congo over a length of around
600 km, the second longest river in Africa after the
The coastal strip on the Atlantic is between 10 and
55 km wide, to the east the country rises to the New
Guinea threshold, which is on average 500 to 800 m high.
The highest elevation in the country (1,040 m) is
located here in the Mayo Mountains. The country falls
towards the northeast to the Congo Basin, the western
part of which lies on the territory of the Republic of
the Congo at an average height of 350 m above sea level.
The capital Brazzaville is located in the southwest
of the country on the banks of the Congo.
The climate in the Republic of the Congo is tropical
with consistently high temperatures all year round.
Brazzaville has averages of 25 ¡ã C in January and July.
In the south of the country, the temperature
fluctuations are slightly higher (between 22 ¡ã C and 27
¡ã C). There are two rainy seasons (January to May,
October to December) in the north of the country and in
the area around the equator, with an average of 1,600 to
1,900 mm of precipitation. In the south the rainy
seasons are shorter, the amount of precipitation is 1
300 to 1 500 mm.
Flora and fauna
More than 60% of the country's area is occupied by
tropical rainforest with the typical tiered structure.
In several tree floors (individual trees reach up to 60
m, the closed canopy is at a height of 30 to 45 m) there
are a variety of different types of plants such as
lianas, strangling plants, so-called epiphytes and
hardwood plants such as teak, limba and mahogany. To the
west, wet savannas with grasses and a small number of
trees form the transition to the coastal landscape,
where large mangrove populations can be found.
The large stocks of tropical rainforest form an ideal
habitat for many animal species. Various monkey species,
okapis, forest elephants (also known as round-eared
elephants) and countless species of insects and birds
live here. In the wet savannas you will find, among
other things, antelopes, steppe elephants, leopards,
cheetahs and jackals.
The vast majority of the 3.39 million people in the
Republic of the Congo belong to Bantu groups. The
largest group among them are Congo (Ba-Kongo or
Vili-Kongo, around 48% of the total population), further
groups are T¨¦k¨¦ (Bat¨¦k¨¦) with 17.1%, Mboshi (11.5%) and
Mbete (4.8%). A large part of the tribes not counted
among the Bantu peoples belong to the Ubangi, a minority
are the Pygmies, of which around 150,000 still live in
the dense forests of the two Congo countries. The
official language is French, along with Lingala,
Monokutuba, Kikongo, T¨¦k¨¦ and several Ubangi languages.
Half of the population belongs to the Christian
denomination, the other half largely indigenous beliefs.
2% are Muslims.
The country is extremely sparsely populated. Almost a
third of the entire population lives in the metropolitan
area of the capital Brazzaville (790,000 residents).
Due to the high HIV / AIDS rate (5% of the population),
population growth is only a small 2.2%, although an
average of 3.5 children are born per woman. According to COUNTRYAAH,
expectancy is only 52 years. School attendance is
compulsory for children aged six to 15 years, and the
literacy rate is estimated at 84%. The standard of
living is relatively high compared to other African
countries, especially in the cities, health and social
services are well developed. The high unemployment rate
is a particular problem here.
Congo has been a presidential republic since 1992;
the current constitution dates from 2002. The president
and head of government is Denis Sassou Nguesso (1997
seizure of power after the civil war; first confirmed in
office in 2002 in presidential elections). He appoints
the cabinet members. The state president is elected by
the people for a seven-year term, re-election is
The Parliament consists of two chambers: the National
Assembly with 139 and the Senate with 72 members; the
deputies are elected for five years and the senators for
The legal system is based on French and common law.
The Republic of the Congo is divided into ten regions
and the capital district of Brazzaville.
Even after the official end of the civil war, the
economy of the Republic of the Congo continues to suffer
from the high unemployment rate, the low level of
training of workers, largely destroyed infrastructure
and the low degree of self-sufficiency in food
production. 90% of export earnings come from oil
production, which, however, is largely in French and
Italian hands. Until a few years ago, the most important
branch of the economy - forestry - is becoming less and
Agriculture only generates 3% of the gross domestic
product. In the field of hiking fields, bananas and
tubers are mainly grown for the local population's own
needs, and cocoa, sugar and coffee are planted on
plantations for export. The export of tropical woods
(especially limba and mahogany) is still significant,
even if the numbers are declining.
The industry is moderately developed and focuses on
the processing of petroleum. There are also wood and
food processing companies. Other mineral resources such
as gold, diamonds, bauxite and phosphates are only mined
in small quantities.
The most important buyers of the country's export
products (oil, forestry products, cocoa, coffee,
diamonds) are China, the USA and Taiwan; France, China
and Italy are among the most important importers of
machinery and foodstuffs to the Congo.
There are international airports in the capital
Brazzaville and in Pointe-Noire on the Atlantic coast;
the most important port is Pointe-Noire. Of the
approximately 13,000 km of roads in the country, only
1,200 km are paved.
The currency is the Central African Franc.