Country FilesCentralCountry Profile 2014: REPUBLIC OF CONGO (Brazzaville)

Wed,22Nov2017

Posted on Saturday, 08 February 2014 15:02

Country Profile 2014: REPUBLIC OF CONGO (Brazzaville)

Sassou Nguesso targets 2016

As Congo enters 2014, the outlook for the country has an air of déjà vu familiarity: brushing aside opposition complaints, President Denis Sassou Nguesso is laying the groundwork for a further term of office. Against encouraging developments in the oil sector, Sassou Nguesso and his Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT) mostly ignore viewpoints that they do not share. In September, senators rejected the public prosecutor’s call for PCT senator André Ikongo-Logan to be deprived of his parliamentary immunity so that he could be brought before a court on corruption charges.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

TOP CONGOLESE COMPANIES

TOP CONGOLESE BANKS

 

ar-infographie-rep-of-congo-2014Sassou Nguesso targets 2016

New finds in 2013 should revive the country’s declining oil sector


Sassou Nguesso would have to change the constitution to run again in 2016

As Congo enters 2014, the outlook for the country has an air of déjà vu familiarity: brushing aside opposition complaints, President Denis Sassou Nguesso is laying the groundwork for a further term of office. Against encouraging developments in the oil sector, Sassou Nguesso and his Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT) mostly ignore viewpoints that they do not share. In September, senators rejected the public prosecutor’s call for PCT senator André Ikongo-Logan to be deprived of his parliamentary immunity so that he could be brought before a court on corruption charges.  The only opposition party represented in parliament, the Union Panafricaine pour la Démocratie Sociale (UPADS),has called for the Commission Nationale d’Organisation des Elections to become independent. It does not have enough strength in the national assembly to push such a reform.

INTERNATIONAL PROBES

As Sassou Nguesso looks ahead to the 2016 election, he is less troubled by internal politics than external pressures. Former PCT party boss and minister Justin Lekoundzou, now in exile in France,has been interviewed by French judges in the ‘Beach Affair’ probe under extraterritorial international human rights law. In 1999, 353 refugees disappeared upon returning to Brazzaville from Kinshasa at a time when Sassou Nguesso was president.

French authorities briefly detained and interviewed General Norbert Dabira when he visited France in August, and they have also searched apartments near Paris belonging to mines minister Pierre Oba, one of Sassou Nguesso’s closest security advisers. The president’s family is also the target of the ongoing French probe into the ‘Biens Mal Acquis’ (Ill-gotten Gains) case, which relates to the French assets of several African presidents. The Brazzaville government regards the enquiries as illegitimate.

The regime’s response to external pressureshas been unbending. Sassou Nguesso’s supporters have launched a campaign of protest against the probes under the slogan Touche pas à Mon Président (Leave My President Alone). In recent months, a lobby group has emerged to press for the 2002 constitution to be amended so that Sassou Nguesso can seek re-election when his present term expires in 2016.The ruling party’s position was reinforced by the announcement in August of a major new oil find. Eni had discovered 600m barrels of light crude and 700bn ft! Of gas in the Nene Marine field, raising hopes Congo can reverse the decline in oil output,which sunk to 265,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2012 from 305,000bpd two years earlier.

The commercial viability of big-budget deep offshore projects is contingent on oil prices remaining relatively high. Qatar Petroleum International was confident enough in the outlook in May 2013 to buy a 15% stake in Total’s Moho Nord field, where development costs are set to be high but production could reach 140,000bpd from 2017.

INFRASTRUCTURE ROLLOUT

Several mining projects have been delayed. MagMinerals Potasses Congo began the construction of its processing plant in July 2013, four years after President Sassou Nguesso laid its first stone. The company expects construction to be complete in 2015 and for the factory to have the capacity to produce 1.2m tn of potassium chloride per year. Australia’s Sundance Resources has struggled to develop the Nabeba iron ore mine after the failed takeover by China’s Sichuan Hanlong in early 2013. It is now looking for investors for building the infrastructure to allow for the export of iron ore.

The government is continuing with an infrastructure roll out largely financed by China. China State Construction Engineering Corporation expects to complete construction of the 436km Brazzaville-Dolisie road by 2015, and China Gezhouba is working on the 19MW Liouesso Dam. The government is also developing four special economic zones – at Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, Ouesso and Oyo-Ollombo–with expertise from China, Singapore and Mauritius.

Still, while the government received $4.5bn in oil revenue in 2012, poverty levels had only dropped from 50.7% in 2005 to 46.5% in 2011, according to an International Monetary Fund report releasedin September.

 

TOP CONGOLESE COMPANIES

Rank 2012Rank 2011CompanySectorCountryTurnover (Thds $)Turnover changeNet profits
360399GROUPE CFAO CONGODIVERSIFIEDREP. OF CONGO327,33819.09%0
 

TOP CONGOLESE BANKS

Rank 2012Rank 2011Bank nameCountryTotal assetsNet interest incomeLoansDeposits
115138BGFIBANK CONGOrep of CONGO1,477,74359,791381,4121,382,984
193194LA CONGOLAISE DE BANQUErep of CONGO515,89933,234217,695454,515
198186CRDIT DU CONGOrep of CONGO501,27930,461130,615393,359
 


Subscriptions Digital EditionSubscriptions PrintEdition

FRONTLINE

NEWS

POLITICS

HEALTH

SPORTS

BUSINESS

SOCIETY

TECHNOLOGY

COLUMNISTS

Music & Film

SOAPBOX

Newsletters

Keep up to date with the latest from our network :

subscribe2

Connect with us