The country has universities. Followers of Islam make up 1.6%; this is primarily due to an influx of foreign workers into the urban centers. By the time the Congo became independent in August 1960, Opangault, the former opponent of Youlou, agreed to serve under him. An 11-member Military Committee of the Party (CMP) was then named to head an interim government, with Joachim Yhombi-Opango to serve as President of the Republic. [73] In 2005 net primary enrollment rate was 44%, a significant drop from the 79% in 1991. The country also has a large port on the Atlantic Ocean at Pointe-Noire and others along the Congo River at Brazzaville and Impfondo. Congolese culture, art, and media have suffered from a lack of investment due to the unstable political conditions and warfare. In Kananga about 63 inches (1,600 mm) of precipitation falls annually. Thus, Congo is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa, with 70% of its total population living in a few urban areas, namely in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire or one of the small cities or villages lining the 534-kilometre (332 mi) railway which connects the two cities. The region was dominated by Bantu-speaking tribes at least 3,000 years ago, who built trade links leading into the Congo River basin. With a population of 5.2 million, 88.5% of the country practices Christianity. For other uses, see, Largest cities or towns in Republic of the Congo. Economic development during the first 50 years of colonial rule in Congo centered on natural-resource extraction. Short dry spells of several weeks’ duration may occur during the rainy season. The country's rail system was built by forced laborers during the 1930s and largely remains in operation. Congo may refer to either of two countries that border the Congo River in central Africa: . Sassou Nguesso is backed by his own Congolese Labour Party (French: Parti Congolais du Travail) as well as a range of smaller parties. The northern escarpment of the Angola Plateau rises in the southwest, while in the far west a coastal plateau zone includes the hill country of Mayumbe and the Cristal Mountains. In the southeast the ridges of the plateaus of Katanga (Shaba) province tower over the region; they include Kundelungu at 5,250 feet (1,600 metres), Mitumba at 4,920 feet (1,500 metres), and Hakansson at 3,610 feet (1,100 metres). Officially known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the country has a 25-mile (40-km) coastline on the Atlantic Ocean but is otherwise landlocked. With a length of 2,900 miles (4,700 km), it is the continent’s second longest river, after the Nile. The Republic of the Congo is also known as Congo Brazzaville, or Little Congo. Two years later, Yhombi-Opango was forced from power and Denis Sassou Nguesso become the new president. The Republic of the Congo has a wide variety of natural landscapes, ranging from the savannah plains in the North Niari flooded forests, to the vast Congo River, to rugged mountains and forest of Mayombe, and including 170 km of beaches along the Atlantic coast. Mount Nyiragongo, an active volcano, is situated in the Virunga Mountains, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Unlike Zaire, however, the name Congo has origins in the colonial period, when Europeans identified the river with the kingdom of the Kongo people, who live near its mouth. United States State Department. Restoration of architectural works is underway in Brazzaville, such as the Basilica of Sainte-Anne du Congo, which was completed in 2011.[72]. New elections took place in April 1959. After their promising start in the 1970s, the troubled political situation and the closure of cinemas made production of films difficult. [31], Sassou also won the following presidential election in July 2009. Congo is rich in natural resources. [35][36][37] Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso, son of Denis Sassou Nguesso, has been named in association with the Panama Papers. In 1956, the Republic of Congo and the other three countries became autonomous members of the French Community. The volcanic Virunga Mountains stretch across the Western Rift Valley north of Lake Kivu. In rural areas, industrial and commercial activity has declined rapidly in recent years, leaving rural economies dependent on the government for support and subsistence. Rising to between 3,000 and 4,000 feet (915 and 1,220 metres), these plateaus also separate the central basin from the vast plains of the Lake Chad system. The official langu… Several Bantu kingdoms—notably those of the Kongo, the Loango, and the Teke—built trade links leading into the Congo River basin. It boasts vast deposits of industrial diamonds, cobalt, and copper; one of the largest forest reserves in Africa; and about half of the hydroelectric potential of the continent. The country is divided into four major climatic regions. The tropical or subequatorial climate zone, marked by distinct dry and rainy seasons, is found north and south of the equatorial region. Under the 1963 constitution, Massamba-Débat was elected President for a five-year term. [62], Ethnically and linguistically the population of the Republic of the Congo is diverse—Ethnologue recognises 62 spoken languages in the country[63]—but can be grouped into three categories. The country’s major topographical features include a large river basin, a major valley, high plateaus, three mountain ranges, and a low coastal plain. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. He won the election believed by many to be fraudulent. The methods were often brutal: construction of the Congo–Ocean Railroad following World War I has been estimated to have cost at least 14,000 lives.[15]. Adjunct Professor of Demography, University of Montreal. [14], In the controversial elections in 2002, Sassou won with almost 90% of the vote cast. [16], The area north of the Congo River came under French sovereignty in 1880 as a result of Pierre de Brazza's treaty with King Makoko[17] of the Bateke. The Kongo are the largest ethnic group and form roughly half of the population. [23] The Congolese military briefly took charge of the country, and installed a civilian provisional government headed by Alphonse Massamba-Débat. Among the best known are Vili nail fetishes, Beembe statuettes that are full of expression; the masks of the Punu and Kwele, Kota reliquaries, Teke fetishes, and cemeteries with monumental tombs are examples of this variety. [68] A large proportion of the population is undernourished,[68] with malnutrition being a problem in Congo-Brazzaville. The Bakongo, a Bantu ethnic group that also occupied parts of present-day Angola, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formed the basis for ethnic affinities and rivalries among those countries. [28], Congo's democratic progress was derailed in 1997, when Lissouba and Sassou started to fight for power in the civil war. Religion in the Republic of the Congo by the Association of Religion Data Archives (2015)[61], The Republic of the Congo's sparse population is concentrated in the southwestern portion of the country, leaving the vast areas of tropical jungle in the north virtually uninhabited. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Nevertheless, Massamba-Débat was unable to reconcile various institutional, tribal and ideological factions within the country[24] and his regime ended abruptly with a bloodless coup in September 1968. The country occupies an area of 342,000 sq. Soon thereafter, Sassou declared himself president. Formerly Zaire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in central Africa and has a small coastline. [47], In 2006–07, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society studied gorillas in heavily forested regions centered on the Ouesso district of the Sangha Region. The government has mortgaged a substantial portion of its petroleum earnings, contributing to a shortage of revenues. The most important lakes are Mai-Ndombe and Tumba; the major tributaries are the Lomami, Aruwimi, and Ubangi rivers and those of the great Kasai River system. In early October, the Angolan government began an invasion of Congo to install Sassou in power. Economic reform efforts continued with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. To the west lies Gabon; Cameroon to its northwest and the Central African Republic to its northeast; the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southeast and the Angolan exclave of Cabinda to its south; and the Atlantic Ocean to its southwest. [55] 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. National anthem of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Belgian paternalism and the politics of decolonization,, HistoryWorld - History of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Republic of the Congo, Africa, History Central - Republic of Congo, Africa, CRW Flags - Flag of Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Democratic Republic of the Congo - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [12], Other names are sometimes known to as the French Congo, Middle Congo and Congo (Brazzaville) with the latter inclusion of the country's capital to distinguish it from Congo (Léopoldville) or (Kinshasa) to its south. Kongo, former kingdom in west-central Africa, located south of the Congo River (present-day Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo).According to traditional accounts, the kingdom was founded by Lukeni lua Nimi about 1390. International observers took issue with the organization of the presidential election and the constitutional referendum, both of which were reminiscent in their organization of Congo's era of the one-party state. Bureau of African Affairs. In 1908, France organized French Equatorial Africa (AEF), comprising Middle Congo, Gabon, Chad, and Oubangui-Chari (the modern Central African Republic). The Congo is located on the western coastline of Central Africa, bordering with the Southern Atlantic Ocean to the west, Angola to the South, Democratic Rep of Congo (formerly Zaire) to South and east, Central Africa Republic and Cameroon to the north, and Gabon to the northwest. In 2008, the main media were owned by the government, but much more privately run forms of media were being created. [18] The Brazzaville Conference of 1944 heralded a period of major reform in French colonial policy. Over the years, Sassou had to rely more on political repression and less on patronage to maintain his dictatorship. The Republic of Congo has several writers recognised in Africa and the French-speaking world: Alain Mabanckou, Jean-Baptiste Tati Loutard, Jeannette Balou Tchichelle, Henri Lopes, Lassy Mbouity, and Tchicaya U Tam'si. It is the second largest country on the continent; only Algeria is larger. Democratic Republic of the Congo, the larger country to the southeast, capital Kinshasa, formerly known as Zaire, sometimes referred to as "Congo-Kinshasa"; Republic of the Congo, the smaller country to the northwest, capital Brazzaville, sometimes referred to as "Congo-Brazzaville" "RotC" redirects here. Coauthor of. Marien Ngouabi University—which offers courses in medicine, law, and other fields—is the country's only public university. In addition to the ITCZ, elevation and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and its maritime influences also act as factors of climatic differentiation. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (, Economic Community of Central African States, Foreign relations of the Republic of the Congo, Human rights in the Republic of the Congo, List of companies based in the Republic of the Congo, Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa, Demographics of the Republic of the Congo, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Index of Republic of the Congo–related articles, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects",, Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism, "BBC NEWS – Africa – The man who would be Congo's king", CONGO REPUBLIC: BRAZZAVILLE RIOTS AFTERMATH, "Fulbert Youlou facts, information, pictures – articles about Fulbert Youlou", Les voies du politique au Congo: essai de sociologie historique, "17 candidates in Congo presidential race: commission", Vote results expected as opposition alleges fraud, "FACTBOX-African leaders' French assets under scrutiny", "Les Africains du Panama (1) : les circuits offshore des " fils de, Congo Republic president says expects referendum over the third term, "Congo opposition holds ceremony for killed protesters=Reuters", "Violences au Congo : le government accuse les opposants à Sassou-Nguesso", "Pygmies in the Congo treated like "pets": report", "UN expert praises Congo's draft law on indigenous rights", site of the Presidency of the Republic of the Congo, Map: Situation de l'exploitation forestière en République du Congo, "Kimberley Process Removes the Republic of Congo from the List of Participants", " The business law portal in Africa", "South Africa's white farmers prepare to trek to the Congo", Congo hands land to South African farmers, "Republic of the Congo GDP and Economic Data", "Les pygmées du Congo en "danger d'extinction, Congo. Congo is bounded to the north by the Central African Republic and South Sudan; to the east by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania; to the southeast by Zambia; and to the southwest by Angola. Rather than seeking to make a feature film for distribution, generally filmmakers directly broadcast their productions as videos on the internet. The highlands of the Great Lakes region in eastern Congo are partly covered with rich soil derived from volcanic lava. [62], According to CIA World Factbook, the people of the Republic of the Congo are largely a mix of Catholics (33.1%), Awakening Lutherans (22.3%) and other Protestants (19.9%). In 2008, oil sector accounted for 65% of the GDP, 85% of government revenue, and 92% of exports. European atrocity, African catastrophe: Leopold II, the Congo Free State and its aftermath. [52][53], The Republic of the Congo also has large untapped base metal, gold, iron and phosphate deposits. The river itself derived its name from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom which occupied its mouth around the time of its discovery by the Portuguese in 1483[10] or 1484[11] and whose name derived from its people, the Bakongo, an endonym said to mean "hunters" (Kongo: mukongo, nkongo). On 5 June, President Lissouba's government forces surrounded Sassou's compound in Brazzaville and Sassou ordered members of his private militia (known as "Cobras") to resist. The country is often referred to as DR Congo, DROC, DRC, or RDC. Most of the country is composed of the central Congo basin, a vast rolling plain with an average elevation of about 1,700 feet (520 metres) above sea level. [30] Following the presidential elections, fighting restarted in the Pool region between government forces and rebels led by Pastor Ntumi; a peace treaty to end the conflict was signed in April 2003. [50] The country also has large untapped mineral wealth. [62] Around 300 American expatriates reside in the Congo. The Congo Basin supports the highest biological diversity in Africa: over 400 mammal species and more than 1,000 bird species. [64][65] Pygmies make up 2% of Congo's population. A political crisis in the perennially restive Democratic Republic of Congo deepened Monday, as lawmakers trashed Parliament after President Felix … One French investigation found over 110 bank accounts and dozens of lavish properties in France; Sassou denounced embezzlement investigations as "racist" and "colonial". This soil is almost fixed in place because of the lack of erosion in the forests. The reform program came to a halt in June 1997 when civil war erupted. Following the overthrow of Mobutu in 1997, the country’s name prior to 1971, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was reinstated. A narrow coastal plain lies between the Cristal Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. 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. It is the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa. Search, Finally, the good figures seem to come from, This page was last edited on 9 December 2020, at 14:10. Brazzaville itself derives from the colony's founder, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazzà, an Italian nobleman whose title referred to the town of Brazzacco, in the comune of Moruzzo, whose name derived from the Latin Brattius or Braccius, both meaning "arm". Democratic Republic of the Congo, country located in central Africa. From 1971 to 1997 the country was officially the Republic of Zaire, a change made by then ruler Gen. Mobutu Sese Seko to give the country what he thought was a more authentic African name. The mighty Congo River winds its way through more than 4,000 kilometers of rainforest in central Africa. It has a short coast on the Atlantic Ocean. Omissions? DR Congo is a vast country with immense economic resources and, until recently, has been at the centre of what some observers call "Africa's world war", with widespread civilian suffering the … The Democratic Republic of the Congo occupies an area of 2,345,409 sq. Sassou's regime has been hit by corruption revelations despite attempts to censor them. The most significant subgroups of the Kongo are Laari, in Brazzaville and Pool regions, and the Vili, around Pointe-Noire and along the Atlantic coast. The former colony adopted its present name, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in 1964.. Colonial rule in the Congo began in the late 19th century. [27], Pascal Lissouba, who became Congo's first elected president (1992–1997) during the period of multi-party democracy, attempted to implement economic reforms with IMF backing to liberalize the economy. At university, students can obtain a bachelor's degree in three years and a master's after five. Youlou became the first President of the Republic of the Congo. [54] The country is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA). The economy is a mixture of village agriculture and handicrafts, an industrial sector based largely on petroleum,[49] support services, and a government characterized by budget problems and overstaffing. [42] On 30 December 2010, the Congolese parliament adopted a law for the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples. Congo gained independence from Belgium in 1960. Congo-Brazzaville has had a multi-party political system since the early 1990s, although the system is heavily dominated by President Denis Sassou Nguesso; he has lacked serious competition in the presidential elections held under his rule. Thereafter the ITCZ moves northward again, crossing central Congo in March and April, so this zone has two rainfall maxima. In the north the Ubangi-Uele plateaus form the divide between the Nile and Congo river basins. info) French: République du Congo, Kituba: Repubilika ya Kôngo), also known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic[7][8] or simply either Congo or the Congo is a country located in the western coast of Central Africa. [71] The numerous ethnic groups and various political structures express a rich cultural diversity and forms of art. Savanna soils are threatened by erosion, but the river valleys contain rich and fertile alluvial soils. During the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, Brazzaville functioned as the symbolic capital of Free France between 1940 and 1943. Koffi Olomide. With several gold records in his career, Koffi Olomide is a superstar of fast soukous … [38], On 27 March 2015, Sassou Nguesso announced that his government would hold a referendum on changing the country's 2002 constitution to allow him to run for a third consecutive term in office. Annual precipitation at Eala, for example, averages 71 inches (1,800 mm). [45] Enquête Démographique et de Santé 2011–2012, "IRIN Africa – CONGO: Grappling with malnutrition and post-conflict woes – Congo – Food Security – Health & Nutrition", "CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): UNFPA Leads Fight Against FGM " UNFPA in the News", "Inauguration de la basilique Sainte-Anne du Congo à Brazzaville", Refworld | 2008 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor – Congo, Republic of the, Wikimedia Atlas of the Republic of the Congo, Humanitarian news and analysis from IRIN – Congo, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Prix des cinq continents de la francophonie,, French-speaking countries and territories, Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, States and territories established in 1960, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from October 2011, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Kituba (Congo)-language text, Articles containing Lingala-language text, Articles containing explicitly cited English-language text, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from October 2019, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from October 2019, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Pages using columns with the default column width, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2012, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2010, Articles needing additional references from August 2017, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles needing rewrite from April 2020, Articles with French-language sources (fr), Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz area identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, A list of subprefects (higher representatives of State in a district) nominated in December 2008 lists 86 districts.