With a population of 4,663,446, a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita income of $4,800, and a poverty rate of 46.5 percent, the central African nation of the Republic of the Congo is considered a lower middle-income nation. After achieving independence from France in 1960, the Congo became Marxist. Three decades later, the Congo opted for democracy and held its first free elections in 1992. Marxism was restored in 1997, and the Congo experienced several years of civil war before a peace accord was negotiated in 2003. Oil production is now declining, making the financial status of the country uncertain unless new reserves can be located offshore. The Congolese economy is heavily dependent on subsistence hunting and agriculture to supplement the oil industry and ...

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