The World Factbook (1982)/Congo

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The World Factbook (1982)
the Central Intelligence Agency
1862662The World Factbook (1982) — Congothe Central Intelligence Agency


(See reference map VII)


349,650 km2; 63% dense forest or woodland, 33% cultivable or grazing (2% cultivated est.), 4% urban or waste

Land boundaries: 4,514 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 200 nm

Coastline: 169 km


Population: 1,641,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.8%

Nationality: noun—Congolese (sing., pl.); adjective—Congolese or Congo

Ethnic divisions: about 15 ethnic groups divided into some 75 tribes, almost all Bantu; most important ethnic groups are Kongo (48%) in south, Teke (17%) in center, Sangha (20%) and M'Bochi (12%) in north; about 8,500 Europeans, mostly French

Religion: about half animist, half nominally Christian, less than 1% Muslim

Language: French official, many African languages with Lingala and Kikongo most widely used

Literacy: about 20%

Labor force: about 40% of population economically active, most engaged in subsistence agriculture; 79,100 wage earners; 40,000-60,000 unemployed

Organized labor: 16% of total labor force (1965 est.)


Official name: People's Republic of the Congo

Type: republic; military regime established September 1968

Capital: Brazzaville

Political subdivisions: nine regions divided into districts

Legal system: based on French civil law system and customary law; constitution adopted 1973

National holiday: National Day, 15 August

Branches: President, Military Committee, Council of State; judiciary; all policy made by Congolese Labor Party Central Committee and Politburo

Government leaders: President Col. Denis SASSOU-NGUESSO replaced Joachim Yhombi-Opango as President in March 1979, following an intraparty squabble; Prime Minister Col. Louis-Sylvain GOMA is Head of Government

Suffrage: universal over age 18

Elections: elections for local and regional organs and the National Assembly were held in July 1979—the first elections since June 1973

Political parties and leaders: Congolese Workers Party (PCT) is only legal party

Communists: unknown number of Communists and sympathizers

Other political or pressure groups: Union of Congolese Socialist Youth (UJSC), Congolese Trade Union Congress (CSC), Revolutionary Union of Congolese Union (URFC), General Union of Congolese Pupils and Students (UGEEC)

Member of: AFDB, Conference of East and Central African States, EAMA, ECA, EIB (associate), FAO, G-77, GATT, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMCO, IMF, ITU, NAM, OAU, UDEAC, UEAC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO


GDP: about $1.0 billion (1980 est.), $667 per capita; real growth rate 3.5% per year (1971-81)

Agriculture: cash crops—sugarcane, wood, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, peanuts, tobacco; food crops—root crops, rice, corn, bananas, manioc, fish

Fishing: catch 19,447 metric tons (1978 est.)

Major industries: crude oil, sawmills, brewery, cigarettes, sugar mill, soap

Electric power: 116,000 kW capacity (1980); 130 million kWh produced (1980), 83 kWh per capita

Exports: $910.6 million (f.o.b., 1980); oil, lumber, tobacco, veneer, and plywood

Imports: $545 million (f.o.b., 1980); machinery, transport equipment, manufactured consumer goods, iron and steel, foodstuffs, petroleum products, sugar

Major trade partners: France and other EC countries

Budget: (1980) revenues $345.6 million, current expenditures $345.6 million, development expenditures $81.2 million

Monetary conversion rate: 202 Communaute Financiere Africaine (CFA) francs=US$1 (1980)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 800 km, 1.067-meter gauge, single track

Highways: 8,246 km total; 555 km bituminous surface treated; 848 km gravel, laterite, 1,623 km improved earth, and 5,220 km unimproved roads

Inland waterways: 6,485 km navigable

Pipelines: crude oil 25 km

Ports: 1 major (Pointe-Noire)

Civil air: 4 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 63 total, 47 usable; 3 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 19 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: services adequate for government use; primary network is comprised of radio-relay routes and coaxial cables; key centers are Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, and Loubomo; 13,900 telephones (1.1 per 100 popl.); 3 AM stations, 1 FM station, and 4 TV stations; 1 Atlantic Ocean satellite station


Military manpower: males 15-49, 360,000; 180,000 fit for military service; about 16,000 reach military age (20) annually

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 31 December 1981, $59.8 million; about 10.8% of central government budget