Congo, Republic of The; - Country history and economic development

1879. Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza of France explores the area of today's Congo. He signs treaties with its leaders and declares the area to be subject to France's protection. Subsequently, this territory becomes known as the Middle Congo.

1910. The Middle Congo officially becomes one of France's federated colonies. Brazzaville becomes the principal city of the Middle Congo and head of the Federation's government.

1924-34. The Congo-Ocean Railway is completed, which paves the way for the development of the port city of Point-Noire and the numerous townships along the ocean.

1944. Major reforms in France's colonial policy take place as a result of the Brazzaville Conference, including the end of compulsory labor, French citizenship for colonial members, and the right to limited self-rule.

1960. France grants Middle Congo its independence; the country is renamed the Republic of the Congo.

1963. Fulbert Youlou becomes the Congo's first president and prohibits all political parties except his own. He is overthrown by Alphonse Massamba-Débat 3 years later. President Massamba-Débat introduces communism to the Congo and establishes strong ties with communist states, including the People's Republic of China.

1968. Marien Ngouabi becomes head of state after overthrowing Massamba-Débat. Ngouabi's 9-year rule is even more leftist than that of his predecessor.

1970. A new constitution is ratified, renaming the country the People's Republic of the Congo.

1977. General Joahim Yhombi-Opango assumes power after Ngouabi is assassinated. The Congo continues its close ties with France, despite its ideological affiliation with communism.

1979. President Yhombi-Opango is succeeded as president by Colonel Denis Sassou-Nguesso.

1981. The Congo signs a treaty with the Soviet Union establishing cooperation and friendship between the 2 nations.

Household Consumption in PPP Terms
Country All food Clothing and footwear Fuel and power a Health care b Education b Transport & Communications Other
Rep. of Congo 34 2 12 3 3 11 36
United States 13 9 9 4 6 8 51
Dem. Rep. of Congo N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gabon 40 3 9 3 7 4 34
Data represent percentage of consumption in PPP terms.
a Excludes energy used for transport.
b Includes government and private expenditures.
SOURCE : World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

1991. A new constitution is ratified making the Congo a multi-party democracy. The country's name is changed back to the Republic of the Congo and the country adopts a new national flag and anthem.

1992. Sassou-Nguesso is defeated in the presidential elections by Pascal Lissouba. Subsequently, Lissouba is accused of ethnic favoritism and armed factions supporting Sassou-Nguesso rise against him.

1997. Civil war breaks out in Brazzaville, which results in Brazzaville's destruction. Later that year, Sassou-Nguesso overthrows Lissouba with help from Angola.

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