Congo, Republic of the

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Introduction - Congo, Republic of the:
CountryCongo, Republic of the
BackgroundUpon 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 was once one of Africas largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need to hope for new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term.
Location - Congo, Republic of the:
LocationWestern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
Geographic coordinates1 00 S, 15 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 342,000 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
water: 500 sq km
Area comparativeslightly smaller than Montana
Land boundariestotal: 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
Coastline169 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 200 nm
Climatetropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
Terraincoastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
Elevation extremeslowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower
Land usearable land: 1.45%
permanent crops: 0.15%
other: 98.4% (2005)
Irrigated land20 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardsseasonal flooding
Environment current issuesair pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from the dumping of raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation
Environment international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography noteabout 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
People - Congo, Republic of the:
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 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 46.3% (male 885,039/female 873,753)
15-64 years: 50.8% (male 958,992/female 973,445)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 44,994/female 64,387) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 16.7 years
male: 16.4 years
female: 17 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate2.639% (2007 est.)
Birth rate42.16 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate12.59 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate-3.17 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.013 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.985 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.699 male(s)/female
total population: 0.988 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 83.26 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 88.93 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 77.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 53.29 years
male: 52.1 years
female: 54.52 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate5.99 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate4.9% (2003 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids90,000 (2003 est.)
Hiv aids deaths9,700 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2007)
Ethnic groupsKongo 48%, Sangha 20%, MBochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%
ReligionsChristian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2%
LanguagesFrench (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.8%
male: 89.6%
female: 78.4% (2003 est.)
Government - Congo, Republic of the:
Country nameconventional 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 typerepublic
Capitalname: Brazzaville
geographic coordinates: 4 15 S, 15 17 E
time difference: UTC+1 (six hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions10 regions (regions, singular - region) and 1 commune*; Bouenza, Brazzaville*, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pool, Sangha
Independence15 August 1960 (from France)
National holidayIndependence Day, 15 August (1960)
Constitutionapproved by referendum 20 January 2002
Legal systembased on French civil law system and customary law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief 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)
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 10 March 2002 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO reelected president; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO 89.4%, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia MBOUNGOU 2.7%
Legislative branchbicameral 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 in July 2007); National Assembly - last held 27 May and 26 June 2002 (next to be held by 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
Judicial branchSupreme Court or Cour Supreme
Political parties and leadersDemocratic and Patriotic Forces or FDP [Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO, president] (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); 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; Union of Democratic Forces or UFD [Sebastian EBAO]; many less important parties
Political pressure groups and leadersCongolese 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 participationACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW (signatory), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI
chancery: 4891 Colorado Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860
Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador Robert WEISBERG
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)
Flag descriptiondivided 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
Economy - Congo, Republic of the:
Economy overviewThe 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 through oil-backed loans that have contributed to a growing debt burden and chronic revenue shortfalls. Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF. However, 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. Economic progress was badly hurt by slumping oil prices and the resumption of armed conflict in December 1998, which worsened the republics budget deficit. The current administration presides over an uneasy internal peace and faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. Recovery of oil prices has boosted the economys GDP and near-term prospects. In March 2006, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) treatment for Congo.
Gdp purchasing power parity $5.099 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $5.163 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate7.5% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $1,400 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 6.2%
industry: 55.3%
services: 38.5% (2006 est.)
Labor forceNA
Unemployment rateNA%
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate consumer prices 2.6% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 27.2% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $2.985 billion
expenditures: $1.664 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Agriculture productscassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
Industriespetroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate0% (2002 est.)
Electricity production6.847 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption5.127 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity exports1.25 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity imports9 million kWh (2004)
Oil production267,100 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil consumption6,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves1.506 billion bbl (1 January 2005)
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas exports0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas imports0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance$1.215 billion (2006 est.)
Exports$5.996 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiespetroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
Exports partnersUS 38.1%, China 33.3%, Taiwan 10.2%, South Korea 6.2% (2006)
Imports$1.964 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiescapital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
Imports partnersFrance 23.5%, China 13.1%, US 7.5%, India 6.9%, Italy 5.6%, Belgium 5.1% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$547 million (2006 est.)
Debt external$5 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid recipient$159.1 million (1995)
Currency code Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Exchange ratesCommunaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002)
Communications - Congo, Republic of the:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use15,900 (2005)
Telephones mobile cellular490,000 (2005)
Telephone systemgeneral 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: country code - 242; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stationsAM 1, FM 5, shortwave 3 (2001)
Television broadcast stations1 (2001)
Internet country
Internet hosts46 (2004)
Internet users70,000 (2006)
Transportation - Congo, Republic of the:
Airports32 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 28
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 11 (2006)
Pipelinesgas 89 km; liquid petroleum gas 4 km; oil 744 km (2006)
Railwaystotal: 894 km
narrow gauge: 894 km 1.067-m gauge (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 17,289 km
paved: 864 km
unpaved: 16,425 km (2004)
Waterways1,125 km (commercially navigable on Congo and Oubanqui rivers) (2006)
Merchant marineregistered in other countries: 1 (Congo, Democratic Republic of the 1) (2006)
Ports and terminalsBrazzaville, Djeno, Impfondo, Ouesso, Oyo, Pointe-Noire
Military - Congo, Republic of the:
Military branchesCongolese Armed Forces (FAC): Army, Navy, Congolese Air Force (Armee de lAir Congolaise), Gendarmerie, Republican Guard (2007)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; women allowed to serve (2006)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 688,628
females age 18-49: 685,388 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 406,016
females age 18-49: 394,745 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 38,464
females age 18-49: 38,082 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp3.1% (2006)
Disputes internationalCongo hosts about 63,000 refugees from neighboring states, primarily from the Pool border area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is indefinite except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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