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Congo, Republic of the
Brief History of Congo, Republic of the:
The Republic of the Congo is a different country from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are located next to each other and have similar names, but they are different countries.
The area that is now the Republic of the Congo was originally inhabited by Pygmies. Later the Bantu people arrived and settled the area. The first Europeans to arrive came in the late 1400's. The major trade was for slaves that the locals would capture from the interior and sell to the slave ships.
In the 1880s the area came under French rule led by Pierre Savorgnon de Brazza. Later, in 1908 France would combine the area with Gabon, Chad, and a few other areas to create French Equatorial Africa (AEF).
The city of Brazzaville became an important city for France during WWII. Later, in 1958 the AEF was dissolved and the Congo Republic was created. In 1960 they gained full independence from France. The first president of the Congo was Fulbert Youlou.
The Geography of Congo, Republic of the
Total Size: 342,000 square km
Size Comparison: slightly smaller than Montana
Geographical Coordinates: 1 00 S, 15 00 E
World Region or Continent: Africa
General Terrain: coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
Geographical Low Point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Geographical High Point: Mount Berongou 903 m
Climate: tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
Major cities: BRAZZAVILLE (capital) 1.292 million (2009), Pointe-Noire
The People of Congo, Republic of the
Type of Government: republic
Languages Spoken: French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
Independence: 15 August 1960 (from France)
National Holiday: Independence Day, 15 August (1960)
Nationality: Congolese (singular and plural)
Religions: Christian 50%, animist 48%, Muslim 2%
National Symbol: lion; elephant
National Anthem or Song: La Congolaise (The Congolese)
Economy of Congo, Republic of the
Major Industries: petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
Agricultural Products: cassava (tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
Natural Resources: petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower
Major Exports: petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
Major Imports: capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central
National GDP: $18,070,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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