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Republic of the Congo

République du Congo (French)
Flag of the Republic of the Congo
Flag
{{{coat_alt}}}
Coat of arms
Motto: Unité, Travail, Progrès  (French)
"Unity, Work, Progress"
Anthem: La Congolaise  (French)
"The Congolese"
Location of  Republic of the Congo  (dark blue)– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)– in the African Union  (light blue)
Location of  Republic of the Congo  (dark blue)

– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)
– in the African Union  (light blue)

Capital
and largest city
Brazzaville
Official languages French
Recognised regional languages Kongo, Lingala
Demonym(s) Congolese
Government

Single-party State

  • Socialist State
  • Presidential republic
• President
Denis Sassou Nguesso
Independence
• from France
August 15, 1960
Area
• Total
342,000 km2 (132,000 sq mi) (64th)
• Water (%)
3.3
Population
• 2009 estimate
3,686,000 (128th)
• Density
10.8/km2 (28.0/sq mi) (204th)
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
• Total
$17.108 billion
• Per capita
$4,426
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
• Total
$11.530 billion
• Per capita
$2,983
HDI (2011) Steady 0.533
low · 126th
Currency Central African CFA franc (XAF)
Time zone UTC+1 (WAT)
Driving side right
Calling code +242
ISO 3166 code CG
Internet TLD .cg
LocationRCongo
Map showing the Republic of the Congo

The Republic of the Congo is a country in Africa. Its capital city is Brazzaville. The country was a former colony of France; it became independent on 15 August 1960. The north of the country has very large areas of rainforest, but in the south are many farms which grow bananas, peanuts and other crops.

Geography and climate

Climate Brazzaville
Climate diagram for Brazzaville
Koppen-Geiger Map COG present
Republic of the Congo map of Köppen climate classification.

Congo is located in the central-western part of sub-Saharan Africa, along the Equator, lying between latitudes 4°N and 5°S, and longitudes 11° and 19°E. To the south and east of it is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is also bounded by Gabon to the west, Cameroon and the Central African Republic to the north, and Cabinda (Angola) to the southwest. It has a short coast on the Atlantic Ocean.

The capital, Brazzaville, is located on the Congo River, in the south of the country, immediately across from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The southwest of the country is a coastal plain for which the primary drainage is the Kouilou-Niari River; the interior of the country consists of a central plateau between two basins to the south and north. Forests are under increasing exploitation pressure.

Since the country is located on the Equator, the climate is consistent year-round, with the average day temperature a humid 24 °C (75 °F) and nights generally between 16 °C (61 °F) and 21 °C (70 °F). The average yearly rainfall ranges from 1,100 millimetres (43 in) in the Niari Valley in the south to over 2,000 millimetres (79 in) in central parts of the country. The dry season is from June to August, while in the majority of the country the wet season has two rainfall maxima: one in March–May and another in September–November.

In 2006–07, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society studied gorillas in heavily forested regions centered on the Ouesso district of the Sangha Region. They suggest a population on the order of 125,000 western lowland gorillas, whose isolation from humans has been largely preserved by inhospitable swamps.

Economy

See also: Hydrocarbon exploration
Manihot esculenta - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-090
Cassava is an important food crop in the Republic of the Congo.

The economy is a mixture of village agriculture and handicrafts, an industrial sector based largely on petroleum, support services. Petroleum extraction has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy. In 2008, oil sector accounted for 65% of the GDP, 85% of government revenue, and 92% of exports. The country also has large untapped mineral wealth.

Jeunes filles apprenant la couture - Ecole Spéciale de Brazzaville
Young women learning to sew, Brazzaville

The Republic of the Congo also has large untapped base metal, gold, iron and phosphate deposits. The country is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA). The Congolese government signed an agreement in 2009 to lease 200,000 hectares of land to South African farmers to reduce its dependence on imports.

In 2018, the Republic of the Congo joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Departments

See also: List of cities in the Republic of the Congo

The Republic of the Congo is divided into 12 Departments. Departments are divided into communes and/or districts.

The districts are:

Related pages

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