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State

Capital

Congo

Brazzaville

Currency unit

CFA franc

Connections

Central

Francophonie

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

History

This is an area whose people are Bantu: Bakongo; Teke; Ubangi (also found in CAR); Sanga (also found in Gabon); Pygmies.

The Bantu people are believed to have moved into an area inhabited by Pygmies at a very low population density in the 15th century.

The Kongo kingdom covered part of the area when the Portuguese arrived. This kingdom expanded as the slave trade grew and they sold their neighbors. Then it collapsed with Portuguese colonization in Angola.

In 1880 de Brazza "made a treaty" with the Teke. In 1882 the colony was organized. At first it was united with, then divided from Gabon. A great scandal was the forced labor by concessionary companies which was practiced until 1930. Independence came in 1960. A Communist type of regime came to power in 1968 but numerous coups show instability and some French civil servants continued to run the show.

Political instability may well continue.

The name can now be confused with the former Zaire (Congo Kinshasa).

A civil war between northerners and southerners broke out in June 1997 and destroyed much of the infrastructure.

At present (Dec 2003) the war has ended but large areas remain without any government at all.

Languages

Bantu langs.

French

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Politics

One party state, modeled on Soviet Union. (But still with strong French influence). There was a movement towards democracy as in other African countries, but this led to no more than several unrepresentative parties. The 1992 election resulted in a change of government, but the president was not popular.

However, as the French still exercised a large amount of influence, the actual form of government may have been irrelevant. In theory the country was a People's Repubkic but in practice the official ideology had little effect on the ground.

New French policies to withdraw their aid may have contributed to the causes of the civil war that broke out in June 1997 between the two main, ethnically based, contenders for the presidency. Elections were postponed. President Lissouba tried to disarm Mr. Sassou N'guesso's ethnic militia.

Sassou Nguessa "won" the war but was left with a devastated country.

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Economics

Still based, as in colonial times, on extractive industries: iron ore and rain forest timber. However, most of it is done by foreign companies which do not pay their taxes and keep the profits abroad. As In Sierra Leone this leads to poverty for the ordinary people and corruption in the government. Oil revenue went to the Marxist president.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

 Climate

Green/Ecology

Rain forest logging by foreign dominated companies is a serious problem. (The government does not receive the profits which are mostly sent abroad). The end result if the logging is not restrained to a sustainable level would be a degraded landscape and great poverty.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Climate

Human Rights

Climate effects

Last revised 8/12/03


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