Inside the Congo

The Republic of Congo has witnessed a 40% decline in living standards since independence from France in 1960 since when it has mainly been ruled as a totalitarian state with corruption being cited as one major cause of this deterioration; (in May 2009 a French magistrate opened a probe into alleged embezzlement by President Sassou).

With a population of just under four million and a life expectancy of around 57 years the country squandered its oil revenues and economic mismanagement has left it with unemployment at over 50% and with over two thirds of its population living on under $1 a day.

Yet the country is one of Africa's leading sub-Saharan oil producers.

The situation for children inside the Republic of Congo today is mixed.As with so many African nations, the Republic of Congo is a destination country for trafficked children for the purpose of enforced labour, domestic servitude and exploitation, however the transitional government is making some progress on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and has recently enacted laws on child protection.

Like in so many sub-Sahara countries, AIDS is a major issue inside the Congo with 69,000 of the country's child population of some 1,716,000 orphaned by the disease with an estimated 6,600 children infected themselves.

The government has also been overseeing a program to ensure that all children have a birth certificate for, without such a document, children have no rights as they cannot even prove their country of origin.

There are four major ethnic groups inside the Republic of Congo ~ these groups are the Kongo, the M'Bochi, the Sangha and the Teke. Additionally the Baka people, often called pygmies, live in the country and rainforest regions.


Inside the Congo

Inside the Congo

Inside the Congo

Inside the Congo


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Inside the Republic of Congo

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Inside the Congo

60% of those living inside the Republic of Congo reside in concrete built homes in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire with a further 12% living close to the railway that connects those two cities. The remaining 28%, including the indigenous Pygmy population, live in rural communities, normally in homes made of mud bricks with thatched or tin roofs with no access to electricity, relying upon wood for fuel. Water supplies inside the Republic of Congo are also poor with tap water, even in the cities, often being unfit to drink and regularly unavailable, sometimes just for a few hours per day. Despite this it is regularly consumed given that most families cannot afford bottled water for which a daily bill would be £1.20 - £1.80.

In rural areas water is collected from springs and wells and is also of questionable quality with dozens of children regularly being admitted to hospital because of chronic diarrhoea, with dysentery being one of the main cause of death in the country. This video provides a glimpse of daily life inside the Republic of Congo.

Human Development Index Republic of Congo

Human Development Index for the Republic of Congoc 1980 - Present

The HDI (Human Development Index) is measured by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the World Bank and is based upon the life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and living standards of a country. The Republic of Congo is in 142nd place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 and the chart below shows how levels of poverty and living standards in the Republic of Congo are above sub-Saharan standards they still fall far short of world standards.


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