The Republic of the Congo is a state in Central Africa, a former colonial possession of France, from 1970 to 1991 - the People's Republic of the Congo.

The country is bordered to the west by Gabon, to the northwest by Cameroon and to the northeast by the Central African Republic, to the southeast by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the south by the Angolan exclave of Cabinda, and to the southwest by the Atlantic Ocean. French is the official language of the Republic of the Congo.

The capital is the city of Brazzaville.

3,000 years ago, the region was dominated by Bantu-speaking tribes who built trade links leading to the Congo Basin. The Congo was formerly part of the French colony of Equatorial Africa. The Republic of the Congo was formed on November 28, 1958 and gained independence from France in 1960. It was a Marxist-Leninist state from 1969 to 1992 called the People's Republic of the Congo. The sovereign state has held multi-party elections since 1992, although the democratically elected government was overthrown in the civil war in the Republic of the Congo in 1997, and President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who first came to power in 1979, has been in power for more than 4 decades.

The Republic of the Congo is a member of the African Union, the United Nations, the Francophone Community, the Economic Community of Central African States and the Non-Aligned Movement. It has become the fourth largest oil producer in the Gulf of Guinea, providing the country with a certain degree of prosperity, despite political and economic instability in some areas and the unequal distribution of oil revenues throughout the country. Congo's economy is heavily dependent on the oil sector, and economic growth has slowed significantly since the fall in oil prices after 2015. With a population of 5.2 million, 88.5% of the country is Christian.


The Republic of the Congo is located in the extreme north-west of the Congo Basin and is bordered to the east and south-east by the Congo River and its tributary, the Ubangi. The capital, Brazzaville, sits on the Pool Malebo, a sealike expanse of the Congo. Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is on the opposite bank.

The Republic of the Congo stretches on both sides of the equator and therefore has a tropical climate. The two rainy seasons occur from January to May and October to mid-December. The annual precipitation is 1400 mm to 1900 mm, less on the coast. After the narrow coastal plain with mangrove vegetation and wet savannah, the country rises to a high plateau that rises to a height of 1040 m at the border with Gabon. At 57.2 percent, the largest part of the country is covered by tropical rainforest. In the northeast, on the lower Ubangi and Sangha, are extensive wetlands. The Congo is only navigable above Pool Malebo.


Republic of the Congo had 5.5 million inhabitants in 2020. Annual population growth was +2.5%. A surplus of births (birth rate: 32.0 per 1000 inhabitants vs. death rate: 6.5 per 1000 inhabitants) contributed to population growth. The number of births per woman was statistically 4.3 in 2020. The median age of the population in 2020 was 19.2 years.

98 percent of Congolese see themselves as Bantus. Half of the population are the eponymous Congo, of which more than 40 percent Bakongo as well as Vili or Bavili (on the Atlantic). A quarter are Batéké with six percent and Bavili. Of the remaining quarter, the Mboschi make up the largest share with twelve percent and the Kuyu with eleven percent. Only one percent are pygmies - mainly in the forest and swamp areas of the northeast, and there are few Europeans.

In 2017, 7.6% of the population was foreign-born. The largest group came from neighboring DR Congo with 170,000 people. Foreigners are either refugees or are attracted by the comparatively high income level.

French is – as a legacy of the colonial era – the official language. In addition, the lingua franca Lingala and Kituba are recognized as “national lingua francas” in the constitution of the Republic of the Congo. Lingala is most widespread in the north, which is spoken by half of the total population. Kituba, on the other hand, also known as Kongo ya Leta, is spoken primarily by the Bakongo in the south of the country, but also serves as a lingua franca. The most important languages of the individual ethnic groups are the conventional Kikongo as well as Mbosi, Koyo and Teke.

The majority of the total population of the Republic of Congo is Christian (about 33.1 percent Catholic, 22.3 percent Revivalist/Christian Revival, 19.9 percent Protestant, 2.2 percent Salvationist, about 1.5 percent Kimbanguist, and New Apostolic Christians). Another large part of the population adheres to traditional religions and around 1.6 percent now belong to smaller Muslim communities. 11.3 percent of the population are non-denominational.



In 1950, the first magazine for politics and culture (Liaison) was founded in Brazzaville. also published evidence of oral culture. Today in the Republic of Congo there is a relatively developed literary and theater scene, especially in Brazzaville but also in Pointe Noire, which is shaped by the French realists and by the Nouveau Roman as well as by folk traditions, fairy tales, surrealism and magic. In his novels Demain j'aurais vingt ans and Les cigognes sont immortelles, the author Alain Mabanckou tells of a youth in Pointe Noire against the background of the country's recent history. Above all, the theater builds on village storytelling traditions. Mention should be made, inter alia, the collaborator of the liaison and playwright Sylvain Bemba, the chemist and novelist Emmanuel Dongala (b. 1941), who now lives in the USA (group photo on the riverbank) and the former Prime Minister and novelist Henri Lopès, a critic of Négritude (Tribaliques, 1971 ).

In the multicultural Poto-Poto district of Brazzaville, populated by migrant workers from the north at the beginning of the 20th century, a painting tradition of its own developed (Marcel Gotène, Eugène Malonga, Jacques Zigoma). Brazzaville had a fine artistic pottery tradition, but it has largely been forgotten. The State Art National Museum has been closed for years, but has an extensive inventory of valuable anthropological objects and contemporary paintings. Traditional themes dominate in music and dance. Gestures and facial expressions make it easier to understand language in a multicultural environment.