Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Congo, Republic of the


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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 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 Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term. (from the CIA)
 
 

 

Economic Overview

The economy is a mixture of subsistance agriculture, an industrial sector based largely on oil, and 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 republic's 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 economy's 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.

Environmental Issues

Air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from the dumping of raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation

Government Type

Republic

Population

3,903,318 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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (july 2008 est.)

Location

Western africa, bordering the south atlantic ocean, between angola and gabon

Area

Total: 342,000 sq km land: 341,500 sq km water: 500 sq km

Slightly smaller than montana

Country Aliases

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

Capital

Name: brazzaville geographic coordinates: 4 15 s, 15 17 e time difference: utc+1 (six hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time)

Military Service

18 years of age for voluntary military service; women allowed to serve (2007)

International Disputes

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

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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