Congo Profile

The Republic of Congo is also known as Congo-Brazzaville and many confuse it with its much larger neighbour to the west of the Congo River. (Incidentally the capital cities of the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo ~ Brazzaville and Kinshasa respectively ~ are the two closest capital cities in the world by proximity, being separated by the area of the Congo River known as Pool Malebo.) However the two 'Congos' are very different in size and population with the Democratic Republic of Congo having a population of some 71 million whilst the little Congo has a population of just under 4 million, the majority of whom are located in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire and the surrounding areas.

On independence from France in 1960, the land known as Middle Congo, became the People's Republic of Congo. As with many of the other newly emerging African nations, politics were fraught with internal conflict and instability. Following coups and assassinations, Denis Sassou Nguesso become president of the country in 1979 and aligned the Republic of Congo firmly with the then USSR, the People's Republic of China and other communist states.

The Republic of Congo was then ruled as a Marxist state. However as the economy crumbled and became increasing infected by corruption, unrest swelled. In 1991 Sassou was stripped of his executive powers by the National Conference and allowed to remain as ceremonial head of state until elections could be called. Marxism was similarly abandoned.

In 1992 elections were called and won by Pascal Lissouba with Sassou coming third. Lissouba was the first democratically elected president of the Republic of Congo. Sassou remained as main opposition leader. Within a year Lissouba was accused of rigging the presidential election and conflict had broke out, however was largely quashed with the intervention of Gabon and the Organisation of African Unity. As the 1997 election approached with both Sassou and Lissouba both standing, tensions erupted into civil war with Angola invading the country in support of Sassou.

On 14th October Lissouba fled the country and Sassou was restored to power and remains there to date, despite controversial elections in 2002 and 2009. The situation in the Republic of Congo is today in a state of flux with tentative steps towards re-establishing some form of democracy becoming frequently derailed. The Congo is in 142nd place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country with a life expectancy of 57yrs with unemployment at over 50% and over two thirds of its population living on under $1a day.



 
 
 
 
 


Congo Profile

Congo Profile

Congo Profile

Congo Profile

 


Congo History

Congo History

A brief history about the Congo (Congo Brazzaville) together with a history timeline.
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Congo Agriculture

Congo Agriculture

Facts, figures and images about agriculture in the Congo, a country that is far from food self sufficient.
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Volunteer Congo

Volunteer Work Congo

Check out all the latest African volunteer work placements and opportunities in Congo.
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Congo Profile

Congo Profile

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Congo Profile

Interesting facts and information about the Republic of Congo in a series of articles and videos, a country which is now oil rich, has achieved some political and social stability and yet has most of its population living under the poverty line. For more about the Congo check out our information articles above.

 
 


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