Despite the country's rich natural resources,
most of Congo-Brazzaville's residents live in poverty.
According to the UN agency UNDP, 47 percent in 2012
lived below the poverty line.
The causes are decades of economic neglect,
corruption, civil war and political turbulence. The
civil war of 1997–2000 devastated large parts of
healthcare, schools, agriculture and infrastructure.
Reconstruction is still ongoing.
Health care is in poor condition and most developed
in the cities. The lack of modern healthcare means that
many people in the countryside are forced to rely on
traditional medical arts.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Republic of the Congo, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Serious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and
dengue fever are common. Typhoid also heals. Lack of
clean water makes the risk of intestinal infections
high. About 2.5 of the adult population is affected by
HIV / AIDS.
Lack of food is a widespread problem and a fifth of
Congolese suffer from malnutrition. After all, it is a
sharp decline from the 1990s, when two-thirds of the
country's population was malnourished.
The state social insurance system is undeveloped.
Persons with employment are entitled to pension and
certain social benefits as family allowances. However,
most Congolese are outside the formal labor market and
economy. For them, the family is the most important
social protection network. Most common is living in
extended family, with multiple generations as well as
siblings and their families, in the same house or close
to each other.
Women are discriminated against in different ways.
Infidelity is criminal for women, but not for men. A man
can be married to several women, but a woman cannot be
married to several men. Domestic violence is common, and
there are no laws against marriage abuse. However, rape
is also prohibited within marriage. Women are
underrepresented in politics and working life.
There are many homeless children in Brazzaville and
Pointe-Noire. Most of them, according to the UN
Children's Fund, come from the war-affected neighboring
Congo-Kinshasa. According to Unicef, about 1,800
children in Congo-Brazzaville are suspected of having
arrived there through human trafficking.
The indigenous people, aka and gundy pygmies, are
socially and economically discriminated against. They
have poor access to health care, education and work,
which is partly because they live in isolated areas. In
the fall of 2010, the UN Special Rapporteur on
Indigenous Peoples appealed to the Congo-Brazzaville
government to protect the rights of pygmy peoples. At
about the same time, Parliament passed a law to better
protect the rights of the country's minorities, but in
practice nothing changed according to the indigenous
peoples' association in the country.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
36 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
2.6 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
1.6 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.5 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
68.3 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
20.2 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
3.4 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 70 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
11 percent (2018)
Sassou-Nguesso wants to make early elections
At the end of the month, President Sassou-Nguesso
says he wants to advance the presidential election and
hold elections during the first quarter of 2016 instead
of in July of that year. As a reason, he states "the new
dynamic" that emerged after the referendum in October.
Yes to the constitutional changes
According to the official result, 92 percent of
voters agree to the constitutional changes. The turnout
is said to be at 72 percent. The opposition, for its
part, believes that turnout is low and that the vote
should be annulled.
Call for boycott
The opposition urges voters to boycott the election.
Some voters say they have not received any voting cards.
A referendum is announced
President Sassou-Nguesso announces a referendum until
October 25 on the constitutional amendment that will
allow him to be re-elected. He also makes an addition to
the proposal, which means that the upper limit on how
old a president may be should be removed (see Political
The opposition calls for demonstrations to protest
the constitutional change. These are prohibited by the
authorities, which also shut down all text and internet
traffic, in both the capital of Brazzaville and in the
port city of Pointe-Noire. Many shops, schools and
service establishments are closed. Some protesters defy
the ban and protest on October 19 at several locations
in Brazzaville. Security forces intervene to stop the
protest. Four people are killed according to
authorities, but according to opposition leader Pascal
Tsaty Mabiala, the number of casualties is at least 20.
Judges want to seize property
French judges demand that property belonging to
President Sassou-Nguesso's family in France be seized.
The judges suspect that the property has been acquired
on questionable grounds.
Protests against constitutional changes
At the end of the month tens of thousands of people
in Brazzaville gather to protest the constitutional
changes. According to the organizers, about 300,000
people participate in the demonstration.
A referendum is announced - with no date
President Sassou-Nguesso announces that there will be
a referendum on the new constitution. However, he says
nothing about when to keep it.
Two ministers who opposed a re-election of President
Sassou-Nguesso are dismissed.
National forum is held for opposition groups
In an effort to counter a constitutional change, 650
delegates from 15 opposition groups gathered for an
alternative national forum.
National dialogue is held on the presidency
President Sassou-Nguesso invites to a national
dialogue at a conference on July 11-14. 400 politicians,
trade unions, civil society representatives, former
rebels and religious leaders will participate. The
opposition, which fears that the president intends to
seize the opportunity to get through the proposed
constitutional amendments (see December 2015) boycott
In the absence of important parts of the opposition,
the "national dialogue" leads to a recommendation that a
presidential candidate be as old as possible and that a
president be allowed to sit for as many terms of office
as possible. The recommendation is expected to lead to a
referendum to decide whether today's 72-year-old
Sassou-Nguesso can stand for re-election in 2016. He has
already ruled the country for a total of more than 30
years, 1979-1992 and since 1997.
The Congolese Parliament votes to cut the state
budget by 12 percent. The reason is falling oil revenues
as a result of falling world market prices for oil.
Corruption is revealed
It is revealed that Canadian mining company
Magindustries' subsidiary in Congo-Brazzaville has paid
bribes to officials and politicians.
Prohibition of veils and overnight stays in mosques
Authorities forbid Muslim women from wearing veils
that cover their faces in public places. Muslims from
other countries are also forbidden to spend the night in
mosques. As a reason, the government states that it
wants to counter extremism. In the country there are
thousands of refugees from neighboring Central African
Republic, many of whom are Muslims who have sought
shelter in the mosques.
Constitutional change is criticized by opposition
The opposition alliance Frocad (see Political system)
presents a memorandum against the government's planned
amendments to the constitution (see December 2014). The
letter is signed by some fifty politicians,
representatives of various organizations and other
prominent figures. The largest opposition party Upads
belongs to is the signatory. UP and RDD, two parties
that are in alliance with the governing PCT, also
support the initiative.