The Republic of the Congo (French: République du Congo), also known as the Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic, West Congo[dubious – discuss], the former French Congo, or simply the Congo, is a country in Central Africa. It is bordered by five countries: Gabon and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; Cameroon to the northwest; the Central African Republic to the northeast; the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the east and south; and the Angolan exclave of Cabinda to the southwest.
The region was dominated by Bantu-speaking tribes, who built trade links leading into the Congo River basin. Congo-Brazzaville was formerly part of the French colony of Equatorial Africa. Upon independence in 1960, the former colony of French Congo became the Republic of the Congo. The People’s Republic of the Congo was a Marxist–Leninist one-party state from 1970 to 1991. Multi-party elections have been held since 1992, although a democratically elected government was ousted in the 1997 Republic of the Congo Civil War and President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who first came to power in 1979, has ruled for 33 of the past 38 years.
The political stability and development of hydrocarbon production made the Republic of the Congo the fourth largest oil producer in the Gulf of Guinea, providing the country with a degree of prosperity despite instability in some areas and unequal distribution of oil revenue nationwide. Congo’s economy is heavily dependent on the oil sector and economic growth has slowed considerably since the post-2015 drop in oil prices.
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