Area: 342,000 square km.
Date of Independence:
Became independent from France on 15th August,1960
Language of the country & its capital:
French is the official language of the country and the two major regional languages are Kongo and Lingala. Brazzaville is the capital of Congo. The Republic of Congo is often referred to as the Congo-Brazzaville.
Location and Religion practiced in Congo:
It is located in Central Africa with countries like Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angolan exclave of Cabinda, sharing its borders. 98% of the population is Christian, comprising of more than 50% Catholics and 40% or more Protestants. A small percent of the population believe in spirits, often treating them as intermediaries to ask something from God.
An Economic overview of Congo:
Congo produces approximately 274,400 barrels of oil per day. According to an estimate made in the year 2008, oil was the major backbone of Congo on which the country’s economy based. 65% of the GDP of Congo was based on its oil reserves and 92% of the country’s exports were petroleum products. Natural gas and diamonds have recently been included in the list of exports.
GDP rate: 5.7%
GDP per capita: $3,346
Currency: Central African franc (XAF)
Major International Companies:
Total is a French oil producing company which is operating in Congo whereas Eni is a leading natural gas producer operating in the Republic of Congo.
The Republic of Congo used to be a communist state with the Congolese Labor Party taking care of the affairs of the state. Ngouabi was the founder of the party who was later assassinated, which didn’t affect the hold of the party on the country’s politics. But in the 1990’s a presidential system was formed and now the President is the head of state.
Culture and Society of Congo:
Kongo, the Teke, Mbochi and Sangha are some major ethnic groups who live mostly in the two major cities of the country, namely, Brazzaville and Pointe Noire. 30,000 Pygmies also reside in the deeper forests of the north, living an unruly life, away from the mainstream Congolese society. The food eaten in Congo is diverse ranging from every type of meat to fresh vegetables, milk products and fruits.
Etiquettes in Congolese Society:
- Congolese people give much importance to good dressing. No matter what the social stature of the person is, he or she tries to dress up in the best attire he can afford.
- Asking about the health and well-being of the family of the other person is an essential part of the greeting.
- Elders are given respect.
- It is essential to give in to the order or desire of an elder person.
- People should be greeted formally with a handshake and a polite inquiry about their well-being.
- When going to a business meeting, you ought to be dressed up formally but don’t over-do it. For example, wearing ties or jackets should be avoided.
- Bow when meeting the senior level officials. Try to be clear and concise while staying polite and courteous.
- It might be a good idea to hire a translator beforehand. It would be hard to find a professional translator in Congo.
- Business cards are given without any formal ritual.
By Sarah Detlef